VIDEO: Lewisham People Before Profit in drag act bedroom tax protest

This Is Local London: Liam Baulch performs Liam Baulch performs

LEWISHAM campaigners made a song and dance about the so-called bedroom tax - handing over a petition while a man in drag performed Gloria Gaynor classic "I Will Survive".

People Before Profit, who recently set up an 'eviction rapid response group', have helped collect around 2,600 signatures calling on Lewisham Council not to evict tenants who get into arrears solely because of the government's spare bedroom subsidy.

And, handing over the document at a Catford town hall meeting on November 28, party member Liam Baulch burst into song while clad in a dress and long blonde wig.

He serenaded councillors from the public gallery with a specially-adapted version of the Gaynor track, featuring the lines: "Oh stop this tax against the poor, pledge your support now - no evictions any more."

The surprise musical display, described by Councillor Mike Harris as "awkward", had a serious message, as statistics published earlier this year showed 3,856 people in Lewisham are affected by the charge.

John Hamilton from People Before Profit said: "It wasn't meant at all aggressively, most of the Labour councillors don't support the bedroom tax either."

He added: "4,000 people is quite a lot in Lewisham and there aren't that many small social housing units available to move into.

"It seems to have been a very poorly thought out policy. It's not really to raise money, it's a way of making people think the problems in society are down to poor people."

People Before Profit's new eviction rapid response group aims to send a group of people to obstruct evictions taking place as a result of the charge, along with observers to document it. They can be contacted by texting an email address to 07806 545 279.

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “The council has been doing all it can to help families affected by the bedroom tax find sustainable solutions.  This includes support to move to smaller accommodation, help to maximise their benefits, assistance to find work and to manage their budgets. 

"In many cases the council has provided additional money to help families cover the loss whilst they find a solution.  The council is working closely with all its partners to help those affected and to avoid evictions.”

Comments (7)

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9:12am Fri 29 Nov 13

PaulErith says...

Freeloaders
Freeloaders PaulErith

5:10pm Fri 29 Nov 13

Liam Curran says...

For the record, NONE of the Labour councillors support the Bedroom Tax.

Cllr Liam Curran
Chair of Sustainable Development Scrutiny Committee
London Borough of Lewisham
For the record, NONE of the Labour councillors support the Bedroom Tax. Cllr Liam Curran Chair of Sustainable Development Scrutiny Committee London Borough of Lewisham Liam Curran

7:39pm Fri 29 Nov 13

ivan_86 says...

There's no such thing as a bedroom tax, there was a bedroom subsidy that has now been removed. I work and pay tax and I don't get a bedroom subsidy so I just manage without a spare bedroom. As far as I'm concerned, unless they want to pay for it themselves, everybody else can manage without a spare bedroom as well.
There's no such thing as a bedroom tax, there was a bedroom subsidy that has now been removed. I work and pay tax and I don't get a bedroom subsidy so I just manage without a spare bedroom. As far as I'm concerned, unless they want to pay for it themselves, everybody else can manage without a spare bedroom as well. ivan_86

8:09pm Fri 29 Nov 13

rojo174 says...

ivan_86 wrote:
There's no such thing as a bedroom tax, there was a bedroom subsidy that has now been removed. I work and pay tax and I don't get a bedroom subsidy so I just manage without a spare bedroom. As far as I'm concerned, unless they want to pay for it themselves, everybody else can manage without a spare bedroom as well.
All the usual council tenant spongers. As Ivan said, there's no such thing as a bedroom tax, but there are such things as scrounging scum.
[quote][p][bold]ivan_86[/bold] wrote: There's no such thing as a bedroom tax, there was a bedroom subsidy that has now been removed. I work and pay tax and I don't get a bedroom subsidy so I just manage without a spare bedroom. As far as I'm concerned, unless they want to pay for it themselves, everybody else can manage without a spare bedroom as well.[/p][/quote]All the usual council tenant spongers. As Ivan said, there's no such thing as a bedroom tax, but there are such things as scrounging scum. rojo174

10:18am Sat 30 Nov 13

soapbox3 says...

Rojo174 and ivan 86. You should be ashamed of youselves, firstly there is no such thing as " spare room subsidy" as bedrooms were NEVER subsidised in the first place. Secondly most people affected by this rediculous TAX are people who work and pay taxes or are disabled. Thirdly, you dont mind your taxes being used by mp s to pay for their SECOND homes and their fuel bills even though they earn far more than most and can easily afford to pay for their own expenses. But you do like the idea the poor people struggling to get by ie starving having to go to food banks, freezing because they cant afford to pay for fuel. People like you disgust me. Remember, what goes sround comes around.
Rojo174 and ivan 86. You should be ashamed of youselves, firstly there is no such thing as " spare room subsidy" as bedrooms were NEVER subsidised in the first place. Secondly most people affected by this rediculous TAX are people who work and pay taxes or are disabled. Thirdly, you dont mind your taxes being used by mp s to pay for their SECOND homes and their fuel bills even though they earn far more than most and can easily afford to pay for their own expenses. But you do like the idea the poor people struggling to get by ie starving having to go to food banks, freezing because they cant afford to pay for fuel. People like you disgust me. Remember, what goes sround comes around. soapbox3

2:03pm Sun 1 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

PaulErith wrote:
Freeloaders
You mean you get money from a bank which in fact don't have any money because 'money' don't actually' exist. Yet you give all your capital to the biggest free loaders going called the GOVERNMENT! Baaaaaaaa
[quote][p][bold]PaulErith[/bold] wrote: Freeloaders[/p][/quote]You mean you get money from a bank which in fact don't have any money because 'money' don't actually' exist. Yet you give all your capital to the biggest free loaders going called the GOVERNMENT! Baaaaaaaa white rabbit9

2:05pm Sun 1 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

Liam Curran wrote:
For the record, NONE of the Labour councillors support the Bedroom Tax.

Cllr Liam Curran
Chair of Sustainable Development Scrutiny Committee
London Borough of Lewisham
Labour will support it one they get votted back in. Part of the agenda!
[quote][p][bold]Liam Curran[/bold] wrote: For the record, NONE of the Labour councillors support the Bedroom Tax. Cllr Liam Curran Chair of Sustainable Development Scrutiny Committee London Borough of Lewisham[/p][/quote]Labour will support it one they get votted back in. Part of the agenda! white rabbit9

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