Lively pavement protest over tax credit cuts is weekly affair

Protest against tax credit cuts in Heeley
Protest against tax credit cuts in Heeley
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A lively ‘pavement protest’ against cuts to tax credits is taking over a Sheffield community every week.

The event aims to highlight how the controversial Government cuts will affect 27,000 working families in the city, plus around 43,000 children, and is set to continue until Christmas.

It has been organised by the Gleadless Valley Labour party, and is held on or around Chesterfield Road in Heeley every Thursday.

Protest organiser Andy Shallice said: “It has been amazing, the extent of support we have had from drivers hooting to people getting off the bus and saying how it will affect them.

“We want to get two things across - that the average impact on households will be a loss of probably just over £30 a week. A lot of people do not know how it is going to affect them so we are trying to create awareness.

“We also want people to know there is an opposition to these cuts, of which the Gleadless Valley party is a part of.”

Meanwhile Heeley MP Louise Haigh has discovered that thousands of struggling families who have been overpaid tax credits in error could face demands for repayment from bailiffs.

In 2013-14, figures show 600,000 people received £700m extra tax credits in error and HMRC appointed a private contractor to chase debts.

Miss Haigh said Sheffield people were affected and Government should absorb the costs as it had made the error in overpaying people.

She added: “To receive a letter saying you owe the Government £8,000 is frightening. People have suffered severe mental health problems as a result, they can’t even imagine how they will look to pay that back so to set the bailiffs on them is unbelievable.”