ABOUT a dozen protestors gathered in York to mark the first anniversary of the introduction of the controversial Bedroom Tax.

The welfare changes were levelled at tenants deemed to be underoccupying their homes under Government criteria, and does not allow them to claim housing benefit to cover all their rent if they are classed as having extra bedrooms.

Members of the York People’s Assembly held a ‘sleeping bag sit-in’ outside the Guildhall in support of the 1,017 social housing households in the city affected since last April.

John Williamson, from the York People’s Assembly, said the issue affected more than 12 per cent of social housing tenants in York, some of whom live with dependants and many of whom are single parents.

He said: “The People’s Assembly are seeking an immediate cessation of the proceedings being taken out against those households affected by the changes and ultimately the reversal of the Bedroom Tax all together.

“It is our position this is a gross attack on the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society who should be cared for and supported during their time of need, however long that may be and not targeted to balance the Government’s failing accounts.”

Since the introduction of the Bedroom Tax last April, City of York Council has seen an increase in the number of people seeking emergency aid with their rent and a rise by more than 50 per cent in the number of summonses issued.