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Angry tenants mount protest in Runcorn over bedroom tax
INCENSED residents staged a protest over the controversial bedroom tax by waving placards and banners.
Around 100 tenants mounted a mass rally outside Runcorn Town Hall.
They joined campaigners in 60 cities across the country to lobby the Government to abolish additional charges being levied on spare rooms rented from social landlords, from April 1.
They plan to hold a protest in Widnes later this month.
Runcorn mum Michelle Bridge, aged 40, from Murdishaw, who organised the protest, said: “Everyone feels so alone, bewildered and worried sick about what is going on.
“It was very emotional. I was crying.
“There were disabled people on motorised scooters and young families. The Government is victimising vulnerable people.
“I had tons of messages afterwards thanking me for giving them a voice.”
Halton MP Derek Twigg said: “I am not surprised that people are coming out to protest. Many constituents are asking me for help and advice.
“The disabled are particularly hard hit. I have raised this a number of times in Parliament.
“We have to keep the pressure on this Government to get them to drop the policy.”
Halton Council has written to 9,000 residents, who will be affected by cuts in council tax support, benefits cap and bedroom tax.
Nick Atkin, chief executive of Halton Housing Trust, said: “We are opposed to these changes and have campaigned hard at every stage as they passed through Parliament.
“We are acutely aware it will be our customers that will be left to pick up the pieces by having to collect any shortfall in rent.
“We are continuing to do whatever we can to assist them to manage these additional financial pressures.”
The trust has alerted 900 tenants who will be affected.