Bedroom Tax-tivist who changed name to Axe-the-Tax faces court date to keep Hulme home in rent row

A Manchester anti-Bedroom Tax campaigner is set to appear in court over rent arrears – and could face being given the boot from his home.

The activist, who changed his name to River Axe-the-Tax to battle the Government, will take on housing trust City South at the Civil Justice Centre in Manchester on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday June 25. 

He claims City South Housing Trust are trying to evict him from his home because he refuses to pay tax on two rooms in his house, which he insists are too small to be used as bedrooms.

Mr Axe-the-Tax said: “”They keep pushing to evict me from my home in Hulme where I have lived for decades.

“City South know that I am appealing against the Bedroom Tax decision on the grounds that one of the rooms is too small to be a bedroom, it has never been used as a bedroom.

“Both of my so-called ‘unused bedrooms’ are used for storage.”

At some housing benefits tribunals, the Department for Work and Pensions’ decisions to reduce housing benefit payments paid to landlords have been overturned where rooms are too small to be used as bedrooms.

Formerly named River Att, he changed his name to River Axe-the-Tax last December in protest against the court proceedings filed against him.

River Axe-the-Tax is the legal officer for the Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation for Greater Manchester and helps to run a free weekly advice session for tenants facing eviction due to the Bedroom Tax.

Mark Krantz, secretary of the Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation, backed River and said: “Landlords like City South should not be wasting money rushing to court seeking evictions. That money would be better spent advising and helping tenants appeal against the Bedroom Tax.”

He claims taxing people who are already on minimum benefits further leaves them in poverty and facing homelessness.

He said: “People are in constant anxiety about whether they will still have their homes at the end of the year.

“There are people having to choose between food and shelter, people going without heating in winter. It is not right.”

River will report on the outcome of his court appearances at the No Bedroom Tax rally 11.30am–1.30pm on Thursday June 26, outside the Conference Centre, where a national Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) housing conference will take place. 

The conference will ‘focus on the provision of social and affordable housing and the development of sustainable communities.’

The Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation will protest outside the Conference Centre, where Tory MP Eric Pickles will be speaking in support of the Bedroom Tax.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, 18 anti-Bedroom Tax campaigners from Bolton will be among the protesters from Greater Manchester travelling to London on Saturday June 21, to take part in the national No More Austerity march and festival.

Speakers at the festival include comedians Russell Brand, Francesca Martinez and Kate Smurthwaite, as well as journalist Owen Jones, MPs and trade union leaders.

Image courtesy of Bloom Rush via YouTube with thanks

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