PROTESTERS gathered on Saturday to oppose the government’s so-called ‘bedroom tax’.
Protesters claim nearly 2,000 households in Chester and Ellesmere Port will be hit by benefit changes when they come into force this April, on top of nearly 7,500 people in North Wales.
Tenants will lose part of their housing benefit if deemed to have a spare room in their social housing property.
Campaigners, trade unionists and Labour party members met at The Cross, Chester, and Queen’s Square, Wrexham, as part of a national day of action.
They handed out information about the impact of the reforms which told people affected where to find help.
Protesters also collected signatures on petitions calling on housing associations not to evict tenants who cannot pay their rent because of the ‘bedroom tax’.
Ray McHale, organiser of the Chester protest and vice chairman of West Cheshire Trade Union Council, said: “We probably had in excess of 100 people there.
“There were one or two speakers for the first hour, and then we spent the second hour giving out information and collecting signatures for our petition.
“The government has promoted the ‘bedroom tax’ by saying it’s fair to taxpayers who are paying for other people’s housing benefit.
“One of the things we were trying to do was make clear their argument doesn’t stand up.”
Saturday’s protest was organised at the first meeting of the new Chester Benefits Justice Campaign and further demonstrations are planned in April.
Dozens also turned out for the protest in Wrexham, where Wrexham’s Labour MP Ian Lucas gave a speech.