KING’S LYNN: ‘Welfare reforms will attack the vulnerable’
Campaigners have accused residents of “burying their heads in the sand” amid calls for people to stand up against looming welfare reforms.
Local members of Facebook group People Against Welfare Reforms are urging people to attend a protest in Lynn next month to fight sweeping benefit cuts described as an “attack on the vulnerable”.
Meanwhile, a West Norfolk social housing provider is getting ready to re-home tenants to smaller properties as people try to avoid being penalised under the Government’s so-called ‘bedroom tax’.
Lynn resident Linda Cox,47, who helped organise next month’s protest as part of a national event, said people need to take a stand before the changes to entitlements bite in a matter of months.
She said: “People really need to be aware of the things that are going to happen to them and prepare for them.
“At the moment it seems a large percentage are blinkered and ignorant. The reforms are so harsh that many people may also think it’s scare mongering, or people are genuinely scared and are just putting their heads in the sand hoping it’s going to go away.
“The national media has deemed the people affected to be scroungers, with the belief that they deserve it. But in reality it is an attack on the vulnerable, with the disabled and children being the worst affected.”
The protest is being held on Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place at noon on Saturday, February 16, with similar events throughout the country.
Mrs Cox believes one of the changes that will hit hard locally is the ‘bedroom tax’, which will see social tenants have housing benefits cut if they have bedrooms deemed to be excess of their needs.
This will affect parents with shared custody of children, disabled people living in specially adapted homes, foster children and many more.
Tony Hall, chief executive at Freebridge Community Housing, said 20 families have already moved to smaller properties to cope with the change, and it will work with others to do the same.
Mrs Cox was concerned there could be a shortage of one-bed homes in Lynn due to the redevelopment of Hillington Square, but Mr Hall said it only accounts for just over 50 of Freebridge’s 1,400 one-bed homes across the borough.
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Weather for King's Lynn
Saturday 25 May 2013
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