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Posted on 13 May 2013 at 12:51 GMT

Stop the cruel, ruthless bedroom tax!

Glasgow demonstration against the bedroom tax and austerity 30 March 2013, photo Jim Halfpenny

Glasgow demonstration against the bedroom tax and austerity 30 March 2013, photo Jim Halfpenny   (Click to enlarge)

On Sunday 12 May the Sunday People broke the tragic story of the suicide of a 53 year old woman, Stephanie Bottrill, who killed herself because of the bedroom tax.

In a letter to her son she explained what had pushed her over the edge: "Don't blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the government."

Because of the Con-Dems' bedroom tax Stephanie was told she would lose 20 a week from her housing benefit.

Struggling to make ends meet, subsisting on tinned custard, it is reported that she told neighbours: "I can't afford to live anymore."

This is a tragedy made in Westminster by a government that wants to make working class people pay for the crisis of the bankers, the super-rich and the capitalist system they represent.

Her neighbour said: "There's no way Stephanie is going to be the last to die because of this bedroom tax.

"She's not going to be the only one" (for more about this horrific story, see Mirror article: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-suicide-grieving-son-1886058 )

Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party, said:

"The Socialist Party is utterly opposed to the bedroom tax and to all the government's austerity measures. We reject any attempt to make the working class pay for the crisis of the capitalist system.

"Labour has been attempting to present itself as opposing the bedroom tax but Ed Miliband could not bring himself to pledge that a future Labour government would repeal it. In Cardiff and Aberdeen councils Labour voted down motions against evictions.

"As well as dire misery for those affected, the bedroom tax has unleashed a fury - it is seen as totally unfair.

"What's more is that people all over the country are starting to organise themselves to stop it. The Socialist Party is part of this and is calling on councils to immediately refuse to evict and to refuse to implement the Tories' murderous policy.

"But we have no faith in any of the main political parties to make such a clear stand on the side of ordinary people - tied as they are to the 1% super-rich.

"The Socialist Party is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition which is calling for 'no cuts' candidates to stand in elections to give a voice to the millions who oppose the government's misery measures".

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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