ACTIVISTS protested against what they say is ‘the cruellest’ policy inflicted on the vulnerable by the Government – the so-called bedroom tax.

Members of the Swindon People’s Assembly joined Swindon Tenants’ Campaign Group on Saturday morning at a demonstration against the under-occupancy tax on Canal Walk.

Under the welfare reform tenants living in social housing who have a spare bedroom have seen their benefit claim reduced by anything from £40 to £80 a month.

Jo Colby of Swindon People’s Assembly said: “The Bedroom Tax is one of the cruellest, most unjust policies inflicted by this Government.

“Nearly two thirds of the people affected are sick or disabled. It demands people move to smaller houses, even though for nine out of 10 victims of this despicable policy there are none to move to.

“It punishes many thousands of people for the failure of Governments to build housing.”

Bar manager Mike Boon, one of the action group’s founding members added: “In Swindon there are nowhere near enough smaller homes for all the people affected to ‘downsize’.

“The latest figures show 140 households having moved, but still there are over 800 tenant households having to find the extra money from their meagre income to pay 14 per cent or 25 per cent of their rent.

“The irony is, whilst the Government talk about ‘freeing up spare rooms’ their housing policy is cutting the number of homes available for those on the housing waiting list.”