First off, please, please attend the Leeds March for the NHS this Saturday – rallying at 11.30 in Victoria Gardens (in front of the library/art gallery). Demands are to:
- stop unsafe cuts and closures to save money
- end the NHS funding freeze and increase spending to fund the need for health care
- end the PFI (Private Finance Initiative) swindle and stop private companies bankrupting the NHS
- repeal the Health and Social Care Act and reverse privatisation of the NHS
- protect the NHS from the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which would allow US corporations to buy up parts of the NHS and profit from ill health
- fair deal and fair pay for NHS staff
You can read more about the campaign to Keep Our NHS public here, or watch a video explaining the impact of the Health and Social Care Act and why campaigners are trying to reverse it – eg on YouTube:
Join the facebook event for the march here
Getting back to bedroom tax – most people will by now have received their new Housing Benefit calculations, telling them how much they will be getting in the coming year and how much they will have to find from their wages or JSA or ESA income. If your Housing Benefit notification says your benefit is reduced because you have more bedrooms than you are supposed to need – APPEAL. Appeals normally have to be started within 28 days of receiving the benefit letter (though late appeals are also worth making). THIS IS THE TIME TO APPEAL!
You need to write to the Housing Benefit office telling them why you think their decision is wrong, telling them you want a reconsideration, and saying that if you still do not agree with their decision you want to go to a Tribunal. You can also use the form which can be downloaded from the Leeds Local Government website. If you want help with an appeal, please contact Hands Off Our Homes (contact details below).
Meetings and support/advice
The next Hands Off Our Homes meeting is on Wednesday 1st April at 7pm, at the UNISON offices on Woodhouse Lane (opposite the Fenton pub and university. You can contact HOOH for more information on 07930966205 or on the number below.
If you would like to get involved in campaigning against sanctions, workfare, benefit cuts etc – contact Leeds Welfare Fightback (details below), or Leeds Unite Community on 0113 236 4830. You can see Leeds Unite Community’s blog here, where you can also read about support and advice available at the new Unite Community centre in Farsley. In the near future there will also be advice and support available near the city centre, and regular informal daytime meetings to build campaigns on welfare and the other issues which affect our lives.