Mass sleep-out against Bedroom Tax


Every so often – and, it seems, at least once during a Tory-led government – a policy comes along that is so divisive and wrong-headed that it brings people on to the streets.

This weekend, on Bank Holiday Saturday, in 50 towns and cities nationwide, thousands of people will be sleeping rough in squares, parks and car parks to highlight the cruelty of the Bedroom Tax.

The Government’s “spare room subsidy” has caused untold misery since it came in on April 1 this year, and arrears are now spiralling as hard-pressed families struggle to keep up with other cuts in wages, prospects and benefits.

This column has revealed several cruel stories, from disabled people already faced with eviction to parents struggling to pay even as they care for their cancer-stricken daughter.

I have also been writing about the people fighting back.

On top of this, the Bedroom Tax was blamed for the death of Stephanie Bottrill, a grandma from Solihull who was hit by a lorry on the M6 in May.

The Mass Sleep Out has been steadily growing on Facebook and Twitter, and is taking place from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire to Worthing in West Sussex, in big cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and London, and in seaside towns like Scarborough and Southend.

Go to for more details.