Call me ‘Axe-the-tax’: Manchester resident fighting for his home changes name to support appeal on Bedroom tax

By David Keane

While fighting for his home a Manchester resident has changed his surname to ‘Axe-the-tax’ after he was summoned to court over rent arrears due to the Bedroom Tax.

River Axe-the-tax changed his name by deed poll as an expression of opposition to the Bedroom Tax which may see him lose his long-time home in Hulme.

His supporters protested outside the Manchester Lobby of the Civil Justice Centre on Bridge Street on Wednesday, while Mr Axe-the-tax fights for the possession of his home.

“The flat where I live is not suitable for a family,” said Mr Axe-the-tax.

“City South, took over the housing stock from the City Council. They can’t offer me a one bed property as they do not have any.

“Even if they could offer me somewhere, I need to stay here close to my support, both friends and Manchester Mind, whose services I now use every week.”

The tax is affecting more than 11,000 Manchester residents and Mr Axe-the-tax could be the first tenant in the Northwest to face eviction from his home due to the Bedroom Tax.

Mark Krantz Secretary Anti Bedroom Tax Federation for Greater Manchester, told MM: “River had people from across the country coming to support him, as he has helped many people deal with the bedroom tax.

“Housing providers are harassing vulnerable people with disabilities. They are struggling to cope because of the Bedrom Tax and they are bullying the weakest people in society.”

His landlord, City South, is taking him to court seeking possession of his home due to Bedroom Tax arrears – even though Mr Axe-the-tax was forced to live without hot water for more than a year.

Many tenants across the country that are hit by the Bedroom Tax have disabilities and like Mr Axe-the-tax need support for mental health conditions.

Another tenant, Meryvn Drage, who lives in a three bedroom flat in Moston, was in the High Court in London on Wednesday.

His case is one of ten judicial review claims being brought as part of a ‘class action’ against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions concerning impending changes to housing benefit.

The appeal will argue that reducing housing benefits would be discriminatory and would contravene the Equality Act.

The ten cases will form the basis of appeal towards the bedroom tax which will affect more than 500,000 people nationally.

Image courtesy of potatojunkie, with thanks

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