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Leeds Socialist Party

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Fight Against the Bedroom Tax

Kevin Pattison reports on how anti-bedroom tax campaigners in Leeds are fighting back. Hands Off Our Homes has held over a dozen public meetings in Leeds and from these formed eight anti-bedroom tax campaign groups. These have assisted tenants with appeals and with applications for Discretionary Housing Payment. The groups stick together and support each other. In April, 1,000 people demonstrated in Leeds against the bedroom tax supported by many onlookers. There has also been massive support for the campaign at public stalls held throughout Leeds. We have lobbied individual councillors at their surgeries. Many Labour councillors have told us that they are against the bedroom tax and against evictions. So many Labour councillors have declared themselves against the tax and against evictions that it is difficult to see how the majority Labour group and Leeds city council has not got a 'no evictions' policy! But so far no Labour-led council has agreed not to implement the tax, as the Socialist Party demands. The council has made much of the fact that they have redesignated 800 rooms, so they don't count as bedrooms. We support this but only 275 of these rooms belong to the 8,000 households who are affected by the bedroom tax, so the vast majority are still getting further into rent arrears. The council has made some concessions after debates with Hands Off Our Homes and the lead councillor forhousing came to speak to the delegation. The statement has been referred to the Executive Board and Leeds tenants and campaigners will be watching closely. We will organise action to ensure that there are no evictions in Leeds. On Monday 1 July Hands Off Our Homes lobbied the full council meeting. Socialist Party member Iain Dalton led a delegation and read a statement explaining how the bedroom tax was hitting people hard. "We have talked to parents in Harehills and in Armley who have started to miss meals in order to feed their children. We have spoken to a grandmother in Beeston whose home of 23 years is the only place that her grandkids can see their dad; to a Scrap the bedroom tax and write-off all the resulting debt grandmother in Morley who looks after her disabled grandson Defend all those who cannot or will not pay to give her daughter some respite; a grandmother in Seacroft No evictions for rent arrears whose grandchildren stay over so their mum can work nights. due to the tax or austerity cuts. an anti-eviction army None of these are 'spare' rooms - they are part of a home and Build End all cuts - tax the bankers and the billionaires not bedall the different functions that a home plays in the life of famirooms lies. Every case is an injustice." For a programme of new The statement also called for a 'no evictions' policy for people in arrears because of the tax, and for the council to build more social housing.
council house building to meet social need Build a mass movement against austerity starting with a 24-hour general strike organised by the trade unions


Unite pathology workers on strike over shift changes

Hands off our Homes protesting outside council tax arrears hearings

Socialist Party stall at unity day

Email: Blog: leedssocialistparty. Call: 07809839793

Branch Programme
Sunday 4th August 12pm, Leeds Pride, millennium square Monday 5th August 7:30pm, Branch, The Hedley Verity, Where next for Leeds branches? Tuesday 13th August 7:30pm, Branch,The Packhorse, Report back of CWI school Monday 19th August 7pm, Guiseley Factory Workers Club, discussion on Labour and a new workers party 7:30pm, Branch, The Headley Verity, The fight for LGBT rights around the world Tuesday 27th August 7:30pm, Branch, The Packhorse, The question of immigration. Thursday 29th August 6pm, PCS offices (Merrion Centre), YFJ meeting on Cuba

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29 YFJ



What we Stand For: Public Services No to ALL cuts in jobs, public services and benefits. Defend our pensions. No to privatisation and the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Renationalise all privatised utilities and services, with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need. Fully fund all services and run them under accountable, democratic committees that include representatives of service workers and users. Free, publicly run, good quality education, available to all at any age. Abolish university tuition fees now and introduce a living grant. No to academies and 'Free schools'! A socialist NHS to provide for everyone's health needs - free at the point of use and under democratic control. Kick out private contractors! Keep council housing publicly owned. For a massive building programme of publicly owned housing, on an environmentally sustainable basis, to provide good quality homes with low rents. Work and Income Trade union struggle to increase the minimum wage to 8 an hour without exemptions as an immediate step towards 10 an hour. For an annual increase in the minimum wage linked to average earnings. All workers, including part-timers, temps, casual and migrant workers to have trade union rates of

pay, employment protection, and sickness and holiday rights from day one of employment. An immediate 50% increase in the state retirement pension, as a step towards a living pension. Reject 'Workfare'. For the right to decent benefits, education, training, or a job, without compulsion. Scrap the anti-trade union laws! For fighting trade unions, democratically controlled by their members. Full-time union officials to be regularly elected and receive no more than a worker's wage. Support the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN). A maximum 35-hour week with no loss of pay. Environment Major research and investment into replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy and into ending the problems of early obsolescence and unrecycled waste. Public ownership of the energy generating industries. No to nuclear power. No to Trident. A democratically planned, low fare, publicly-owned transport system, as part of an overall plan against environmental pollution. Rights Oppose discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, disability, sexuality, age, and all other forms of prejudice. Repeal all laws that trample over civil liberties. For the right to protest! End police harassment.

Defend abortion rights. For a woman's right to

choose when and whether to have children.

For the right to asylum. No to racist immigration

laws. New Workers Party For a new mass workers' party drawing together workers, young people and activists from workplace, community, environmental and anti-war campaigns, to provide a fighting, political alternative to the pro-big business parties. Trade unions to disaffiliate from the Labour Party now and aid the building of a new workers' party! Support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) as an important step towards this. Socialism and Internationalism No to imperialist wars and occupations. Withdraw the troops immediately from Afghanistan! Tax the super-rich! For a socialist government to take into public ownership the top 150 companies and banks that dominate the British economy, and run them under democratic working-class control and management. Compensation to be paid only on the basis of proven need. A democratic socialist plan of production based on the interests of the overwhelming majority of people, and in a way that safeguards the environment No to the bosses' neo-liberal European Union! For a socialist Europe and a socialist world!