Protestors at Croydon town hall campaign against bedroom tax
Protesters turned out in force at the weekend to campaign against the proposed bedroom tax.
Dozens of campaigners descended on Croydon Town Hall on Saturday, to demonstrate against the new tax that is due to be introduced from April 1.
Protesters simultaneously gathered in towns and cities across the country to voice their displeasure at the tax.
Under the new tax, working age tenants living in homes with spare bedrooms will have their housing benefit cut by 14 percent for one spare bedroom and 25 percent for two spare bedrooms.
The government is also changing the amount people can claim. It will now be based on the number of bedrooms needed by the household, rather than the number in the property.
Around 1,200 council tenants currently live in under-occupied homes and will be affected by the benefit changes.
Croydon Council is running property swap events to try and encourage overcrowded tenants and those with spare rooms to exchange homes, but there is opposition to the proposed changes.
Tony Newman, Labour opposition leader at Croydon Council, described the tax as "repugnant."
He said: "This is one of the most vindictive taxes ever. It fails to address the overwhelming issue of affordable housing.
"The idea just because you are poor or on a lower income you can’t have a spare bedroom is an outrage.
"It is an attack on some of the most vulnerable in society."
Laurie Pocock, branch secretary at Croydon UNISON, said he did not think the tax made sense.
He said: "I think it is unfair to people who have been in their homes for a long time. In the long run people will have to go somewhere else and it will cost even more.
"This is not just bad social policy, it does not make economic sense. It will be a problem for people."