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[英伦广角] 2016-03-19 英国民众抗议新的住房法案

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Protestors turned out in their thousands, desperate to get their voices heard.

“We shout up, we shout up.”

Their plight branded on flags, banners, even family pets. If governor plans get the go-ahead, council tenants with the joint house holding income of more than 30,000 pounds or 40,000 thousands in London could be forced to pay full private market rates or face eviction. John Adams who’s lived in his property in London for 20 years is one of those affected.

“In my case, I would have to ask my daughter where to leave, because she can’t solve it and where did she go? Because you are working class people, surely you should be able to live comfortably without ever have to struggle.”

“We've been a council tenant for 40 years all together. And it's just not fair, it's not fair, it's not just us, but to many, many people as you can see here.”

As part of the plans, the right to stay at a council house indefinitely will also be withdrawn with tendencies reviewed from time to time. And with the value of some council properties rising considerably in recent years, protestors say gentrification is forcing them out.

“As you can see several thousands of people have turned out to protest here today. This government bill is all about changing from generation rent to generation buy. Of course people here in London are worst effected because rents are going up so quickly.”

Of course encouraging right to buy is nothing new. Margaret Thatcher made it a center piece of Conservative policy in the 1980s. Three decades on, that means countless states have a cross section of society side by side. Of course the exact details of this bill will be debated in due course, but the government insists rents will have to go up gradually.

“The increase is about getting a fair balance between what somebody will pay if they are in the private entity sector as well, and there are people in there. So it’s just getting that balance. But I'll be very clear -- once people move over that threshold, there will be a taper, so they won't suddenly jump to market. There will be a taper. They will make it fair. So we make sure we do what we always say we will do. This government, we insisted on and be determined about since 2010 which is be able to always pay to work.”

Protestors want changes to the bill, all afraid to be scrapped altogether. But the government insists there are tens of thousands of council tenants earning well over 50,000 pounds who need to start paying their way.

Rebecca William, Sky News.
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