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Protest to voice fury at 'bedroom tax' rule
A DISABLED man being “forced” out of his home by the Government’s so-called “bedroom tax” has organised a rally against the levy amid fears it will hit vulnerable residents hardest.
Brian Ryder, of Kidderminster, is opposed to the new Welfare Reform Act, in which unused bedrooms in social housing will be subject to an underoccupation charge from nextmonth.
The 44-year-old, who suffers with the bone disease, osteoporosis, has been told he has to leave his two-bedroom community housing flat of 15 years for a one-bedroom flat or pay an extra £60 a month for his spare room, which is sometimes used for his carer.
He wants residents to join his protest outside Kidderminster Town Hall on Saturday, March 30 ina bid to stop disabled people being affected by the changes.
Mr Ryder, of Horsefair, said he was not doing it for himself but to support more seriously ill residents, who needed their spare rooms to help with their condition.
“My main concern is for people who need their rooms, “ Mr Ryder told The Shuttle. “I think it’s disgraceful.
“The Government has back tracked and brought in little changes to the tax but it still doesn’t go far enough.”
Mr Ryder said he was sad about having to leave his flat as he had made it his own over the years but he could not afford the extra cash to stay.
He said the spare room had “come in handy” for when he needed his carer to stay over if he struggled to get out of bed due to his illness.
“I don’t want to move but I have to – it’s like I’m being forced,” said Mr Ryder. “I simply can’t afford to stay here.
“The problem is, it’s like the [Government] are dropping a nuclear bomb to kill five people and killing 5,000. They’re not thinking about the consequences it’s going to cause.”
He said there was also a lack of housing available for people being forced to move, adding he had bid for weeks for a one-bedroom flat but there were none available. He has now been offered a flat that is currently being built in the Horsefair.
Mr Ryder said the protest, which starts at 12.30pm, had received a lot of interest. “It looks like it’s going to be bigger than I ever thought it wouldbe,” he added.