A Blind Widow, a Disabled Dad and a Rape Victim – The ‘Scroungers’ Facing Eviction over Bedroom Tax Arrears

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More than 25,000 people applied for the ‘discretionary housing payment’ to help pay their rent this month, as the Bedroom Tax kicked in.  This compares to just 5,700 applications in the same month last year. Notices of eviction are being issued up and down the country.  Caught up in these figures were a blind widow, a disabled dad and a rape victim. It is time to put a human face on the statistical failure of the Bedroom Tax.

The Blind Widow

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Helen Sockell, 56, (pictured above) has lived in her Kilmarnock home for 25 years.  Her husband John died in 2005 and their son Andrew died, aged just 24 in the same year.  She is blind and now lives alone, supported by a full time carer.

She has no way to find the additional £33 a fortnight that the Bedroom Tax has added to her costs and so has run up arrears of £117.  She has now received letters from her council threatening court action and eviction.  The letter also warns that Helen will face court costs of £350-£1500 on top of her debt.

Helen, speaking to The Mirror, said:

“I’ve been summoned for a meeting with the council but I don’t know what I can tell them…After having my housing benefit cut because of the bedroom tax, there’s no way I can afford to pay them what they want.”

The Mirror also spoke to Helen’s niece Claire Cunningham who stated:

“My aunt is blind and being evicted would be one of the most traumatic and distressing things that could happen to her…This situation is terrible – it’s beyond our worst nightmare…She’s settled in the house and although it’s not completely modified to her needs, she knows her way around it…If she’s evicted and put somewhere else, she’ll have to start that whole process all over again. Not only is that unsafe but it is unacceptable.”

Anyone with a sense of common decency would condemn any piece of legislation which led to a blind widow being threatened with eviction.  Helen’s story is devastating, but sadly, not an isolated incident.

The Disabled Dad

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Richard Rourke is a disabled widower from Whitwell, Derbyshire.  He is a wheelchair user living in a three bed home.  His daughter suffers a rare form of muscular dystrophy and needs a room when she returns home from University at weekends and holidays.  The third room is a box room used to store essential equipment, including a hoist for lifting him, a power chair and shower seat.

The government classes Richard Rourke as having two spare rooms, and for this he has seen his housing benefit cut by 25%.  He cannot afford to pay the additional £100 a month, is now building up rent arrears and faces the threat of eviction.

Richard is one of ten disabled people who have launched a legal challenge against Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith’s Bedroom Tax on the grounds it is discriminatory.  Of the 660,000 households hit by the new regulations, 420,000 contain a disabled person.

In a three-day hearing at the High Court, lawyers for the ten are asking the court to rule that the Bedroom Tax breaches Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects against discrimination.

They also argue that Iain Duncan Smith has failed to comply with his duty to public equality under the 2010 Equality Act.

As inspiring as it is that these disabled people are mounting a fight back, one can’t help but despair at the necessity for them to occupy their time and energy battling the very department that should be supporting them. The DWP now appears to exist to penalise the jobless, the old, the disabled and the poor, when its chief role is to support and enable them to live independent lives.

The Rape Victim

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It is not only disabled people who are launching a legal challenge against the Bedroom Tax on grounds of discrimination; a victim of rape, assault, harassment and stalking is taking the government to court as well.

According to Inside Housing, the plaintiff instigated judicial review proceedings against Iain Duncan Smith and his Department of Work and Pensions in the High Court last Friday.

Known only as ‘A’ to protect her identity, she has a specially adapted home with a panic room.  The police adapted her property because her life was at risk from an ex-partner with a history of serious violence. The home has a ‘panic space’ and a specialist ‘sanctuary system’, which includes reinforced doors, electric alarms and alarms linked to the police station. As their home is classed as a three bedroom property, the government deems them as having a ‘spare room’ and has cut 14% of their Housing Benefit.

Rebekah Carrier, a member of ‘A’s legal team says:

“Our client’s life is at risk and she is terrified.  She lives in a property which has been specially adapted by the police, at great expense, to protect her and her child. It is ridiculous that she is now being told she must move to another property (where she will not have any of these protections) or else take in a lodger…She is a vulnerable single parent who has been a victim of rape and assault. The secretary of state cannot seriously suggest that it is appropriate for her to take a stranger into her home.”

The DWP response was this: ‘We are confident that these measures are lawful and they do not discriminate against any groups.’

The Bedroom Tax is Cruel and it won’t Work

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The fallout from this horrendous assault on our most vulnerable people is only in its second month, and we are already reaping the whirlwind.

Applications for the Discretionary Housing Payment fund (rent payment assistance) have risen almost five fold in the last month:

  • Nottingham City Council has dealt with 223 applications for financial help, a fourfold increase on April last year.
  • Derby has seen applications from 420 households this month, that’s almost as many as the whole of last year.
  • Leicester has seen applications from 327 households – six times as many as April 2012.

The government insists that there are one and a half million ‘spare rooms’ across England and Wales and 250,000 families living in homes that are too small for their needs.

Given the complete lack of clarity about what constitutes a spare room, one must take the governments estimates with a pinch of salt.

Furthermore, it says nothing of where the available properties are, how suitable they are for the families involved.  And finally, it says nothing of why we have the housing shortage – but simply leads people to the assumption that it is poor distribution, rather than supply.

It is decades of defunct housing policy that has left the UK with a housing shortage crisis. The UK is building 100,000 homes a year less than it needs to in order to meet requirements. The National Housing Federation issued a report last year which showed Housing Benefit has doubled in recent years as a direct result of an astronomical increase in housing costs.  The report shows an 86% rise in housing benefit claims by working families, with 10,000 new claims coming in per month.  House prices are now 300% higher (in real terms) than in 1959 – if the price of a dozen eggs had risen as quickly, they would now cost £19. Rents across the UK have risen by an average of 37% in the UK in just the last three years.

None of this is addressed by the Bedroom Tax.  It simply penalises the victims. It is yet another cruel, failed policy from a cruel, failed government.

UPDATE: Helen Sockell has been told she will not be evicted, after head of local council visits her following the press campaign. It works! http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/council-chief-makes-personal-apology-1921104

Take Action

Leeds Council has suggested residents tackle the Bedroom Tax by reclassifying their bedrooms as ‘non-specific rooms’

Join the 38 Degrees Campaign to Stop the Bedroom Tax

66 thoughts on “A Blind Widow, a Disabled Dad and a Rape Victim – The ‘Scroungers’ Facing Eviction over Bedroom Tax Arrears

  1. Pingback: 9,000 ex-service personnel homeless after leaving the military | Stop Making Sense

    • why don.t the government just put the poor in gas chambers and show people that they are no different from the nazis

  2. I can’t afford rooms for guests to stay and to use for storage, why should we provide these to people who are on benefits, they are meant to to ensure people have the minimum requirements for life not luxuries.

  3. It has been proven as FACT that countries with GOOD Social Security Systems (paid for by the way, by ALL it’s eligible citizens) have the BEST economies. Switzerland (among many others) is a good example. We should always remember ”Where there’s a WILL, there’s a WAY” All democratic governments are constitutionally bound to take care of ALL their citizens, which means that if they don’t HELP to provide DECENT jobs for ALL their citizens, they should have policies in place that ensure that their unemployed citizens and their families are properly cared for. If they can’t/won’t commit themselves to that democratic act, then they insult the office they have been elected to hold. Presently & sadly we have a government that does not have that democratic WILL so are not interested in finding the WAY. As for the ‘Pathological liar’ David Cameron he has no moral right at all to hold his high office. He makes Richard Nixon look like a saint, and he was impeached and removed by his citizens.

  4. The Bedroom Tax is costing the taxpayer a fortune. Yesterday I noticed a man putting a sign in the front window of a house “4 bedroom – ALL bills paid £80 a week”. I asked if he was insane. “No” he replied “I cant rent it nobody wants to move in”, I asked what was wrong with it. He just said “Nothing I just cant rent it off nobody wants loads of bedrooms so it screwed unless I rent it off on the cheap at least for the time being as its just sat empty costing me money with nothing coming in for it”.

  5. The queen was awarded an 8 million pound pay rise this year… Why ? The scrounging rich are a disgusting embarrassment. While people in genuine need go hungry and homeless virtually on their doorstep. This cannot be justified, when there is enough wealth to feed the world times over, contained in the appropriated and stolen wealth hoarded by the British ” monarch .” If these individuals are there for the benefit of the people, then the proceeds profits and wealth should be shared among the people. There is no space for one VIP baby. The funds and support should go to those who need it.

    • Our corrupt government continue to persecute the sick, the poor and the disabled… whist many in the country stand back and agree with these evil policies. Because of their inadequacy and inability to look after those most vulnerable they spend their time demonizing them so the sheeple will not complain. The media and government should hang their heads in shame.

    • Some bloke said “The just society is that to which all would consent from behind a veil of ignorance”,that means we would agree the rules without knowing wether we were destined to be born black or white,man or woman,rich or poor,healthy or sick,do we live in such a society?Would the Queen and David Cameron assent to live here if there was the posibility they’d be the son of a crack whore some anonymous John?

      • Nobody with an IQ bigger than their shoe size would consent to such.
        Surely a mans first priority is to care for his family.

  6. If your on benefit ie job seekers then you only get £56 a week which is paid fortnightly in arrears, the government says this is all you need to live on and its for gas, electricity, council tax, tv licence, food, clothes, travel to ie doctors, job centers, job interviews, now they want you to pay rent as well, lets see them get all this done on £56 a week.

    • well said Ann.They just have no clue to the siffering they are causing to others.what surprises me the most is hes wife since she wont stand up and speak out at what her stupid husband is doing.i think she should divorce her husband and have nothing to do with him.

    • You pay rent top up too, as well as water/sewerage rates. Its an evil system. But there are some who foolishly think its ok to allow those who are in hardship to die. They are desensitised because they are not living the hardships. YET..

  7. Let’s just remember a few facts:-

    (1) Blair & Brown went mental with the national credit card, trouble is, and many forget this, you have to pay it back.
    (2) The vast majority of people in the UK, work long and hard, feel they pay too much tax, and are grateful for anything that restricts government spending.
    (3) People will make noises in public about we need to help these, and spend more on that. But in the privacy of the voting booth, they will vote for what’s best for them and their families.
    (4) What does a riot achieve? Remember the ones that followed the shooting of armed robber Mark Duggan? Something on the grounds of “I want justice for Mark Duggan, that will be a 42″ flat screen”. The rioters should be grateful that the vast majority of ‘Joe Public’ (not the Guardian readers) didn’t get their way, around here the answer was “slot the first 20, the rest will scarper back to their holes”

    We will always be in trouble while we vote for governments of all parties, who have never done a real job, have done the University PPE, Adviser, Unwinnable seat, Safe seat route. How many of them have, run a business, served in the military, or done anything worthwhile?

    I despair, I’m retired, but I worry for my sons generation, what’s the answer? Certainly not Cuba with rain as some are suggesting.

    • So, what does that have to do with the bedrrom tax? The bedroom tax is costing more money than it is raising. The poorer you are and the more disabled you are then the more money you are further losing under austerity. Money DOES exist to cancel our debt but govt won’t take on the companies and the rich….. supporting that doesn’t make one a communist – it makes one a decent human being with morals.

      • It’s not a tax, tax by definition is a charge imposed, this is a restriction of payment of benefits to those living in state provided housing.
        It is the state saying we will help you to have a roof over your head, but just what you need. Don’t expect everyone else to chip in to pay for more than your basic needs.
        What is the relevance of my post to the subject? Simple all public expenditure come from a pot created by taxation and borrowing, we have simple choices, spend less, or tax more, or borrow more.
        Not brain surgery

        • I see you conveniently ignore my points. Coward who cannot even put a nmae to their prejudices. Why are you so scared of the truth? DO kee[ writing as the more you write the more you show yourself up. Enjoy yyourself as I know from having hung out with the super rich they laugh their socks of at people like you. They think you’re a mug. You do their work and speaking for them.A coward AND a fool.

          • I’m not allowed by my terms of service to get involved in public political statements, hence the “former etc”
            You state “the money does exist” where? Are you “squeeze the rich until the pips squeek” it didn’t work for Dennis Healey, and in these days when money can be zapped to another country at the click of a mouse?
            What truth do you allege I’m afraid of? A basic truth is that most people will vote for what they believe to be in their best interest, hence Mrs thatched winning elections.
            Coward I resent, I have faced dangers and violence for my country, don’t judge without knowing the facts.

            • Last paragraph proves what a fool you are as you’ll know that your comrades who have been injured are going without food, heating, wheelchairs, housing – all sorts. THEY are paying so the rich don’t. Know i know why you have to protect the status quo – because you’ll see what a waste your life has been protecting other people’s money, other people’s property. Your life would fall apart if your were to see how you’ve been used?

              You didn’t face dangers in my name and more fool you ….who’s going to look after you if you get injured? Will you mind paying then and complain when you have to pay extra for the spare room that houses your disability equipment? I guess war has desensitised you to other’s suffering. Accept the status quo, be cannon fodder – and keep the rich laughing at you.

              And contribute to death, war and the economic status quo and pretend you’re doing it for the country that treats your injured comrades like dirt on their shoe.

              • Ms Quinn, we will never agree, I think some things are worth fighting for, democracy, one person, one vote, accepting the result despite your belief that HMG are worse than useless, time for change will be at the next election. (not that the opposition is any use)
                I have seen ex mil treated disgraceful, I have also seen brilliant work done by RBL and others.
                Don’t fall into the trap of associating super rich with bad guys, some of the sons of titled seriously rich land owners have been amazing officers. Always worked to the principles of see to your troops comfort & welfare, then your own.
                The place for change is at the ballot box, however as the vast majority of my fellow Brits are doing okay thanks, don’t expect a huge change. Remember to give to one you have to take off someone else, not a popular idea.

            • Are you “squeeze the rich until the pips squeek” ??? So its ok to “squeeze the poor until they die or commit suicide” ?? and its “squeak” Foolish people have swallowed the propaganda the government (mental asylum) have bashed out like the “Skivers vs Strivers” idiotic nonsense! Of course there are a tiny minority that do not want to work, but to sell lies to the public that it’s the majority of people! … Stereotyping and setting people against people (the ones that are better off against those that have had hardship) It blots out compassion and caring for your fellow country man. It also has raised selfishness “I’m alright, I’m coping, everyone should too” I pray for your own sake you taste what many people are going through… People like you are swallowing it, lets hope you do not choke … Its becoming the survival of the fittest. People in dire straits = Statistics to the government and councils …. they are treated as non human and emotionally, mentally and physically… that must be hell -x-

        • No, it’s a tax on bigotry and stupidity, since it’s going to cost the taxpayers supporting it far more than it saves. Families will have to be rehoused, often in hotels or B&Bs, people on housing benefit will be forced into the private sector, which will cost more, you’ll start having to buy an extra fiver’s worth on every shop from Sainsbury’s to put into the Foodbank bin…
          Basically, the taxpayer is going to end up paying more so people can’t have a spare bedroom. Sounds like a bedroom tax to me.

    • (1) “you have to pay it back.” – no you don’t. Certainly not right now. The government can currently borrow at around 0.3-3% depending on the term of the loan. Not exactly a credit card, is it?

      If you offered to lend me money at that rate I’d take as much as you were willing to offer. Doesn’t matter whether I had anything to spend it on, even – at that rate I could invest it just about anywhere and get a better return. It’s essentially free money.

      I don’t think the conservatives are stupid enough to think that “buy high, sell low” is a good strategy, so I have to assume they don’t really care about the deficit and just want to cut services for ideological reasons.

      (2) Yet precisely because of (incredibly cheap) public sector borrowing, government spending cuts don’t actually cut their taxes. VAT hikes, on the other hand, certainly raise their taxes. So we’re paying more to live in a country which is no longer investing in its future. This is going to cost us in the long term.

      (3) I’m skeptical of this, because it implies that people actually have a choice in the voting booth. They have the Conservatives, who favour austerity; the Conservatives coalition partners, who went along with all of these policies; and Labour, who are making loud noises about how they feel social security should no longer be an entitlement, but rather some form of investment. Presumably any vote for an electable party can be considered an endorsement of austerity.

      (4) The end of the poll tax? But you’re correct, stealing televisions in the name of social justice is not a righteous act. I think the people you mention calling for the shooting of rioters and the rioters themselves are both symptoms of the same national disease. We have forgotten how to organise ourselves and how to protest effectively. So those desperate enough to take to the streets do so in the stupidest way possible, while those who aren’t see nothing wrong with the army being called in to gun down their fellow countrymen on the streets of London. It’s not exactly a patriotic thing to wish for, is it?

      I’m with you on the subject of career politicians and Cuba, though there’s nothing wrong with extensive public services. That we cannot afford them is simply untrue, it’s a false perception drilled into us by ideologues and disproven by the many countries around the world who have no problem paying for good quality education, healthcare and so on.

    • People who run bussinesses steal the “Surplous Labour” of their employees,anyone who serves in the armed forces of a NATO member state should be shot,the officers because they’re kulaks and so class enemies of the proleteriat,the other ranks because they’re class traitos.I went insane and droped out of art school,when I got out of the looneybin it looked like it was too late and I’d never fulfil my destiny,then I won a place at The Sir Henry Doulton Svhool Of Sculpture,6 months before I was due to start they went bankrupt,I hate NATO,they ruined my life,if it hadn’t been for NATO the Soviet Union would’ve won the Cold War,all bussinesses,includeing Doultons would’ve been nationalised,nationalised bussinesses never go bankrupt,I’d’ve completed the course and fulfilled my destiney,I knew 2 people who graduated just before I was due to start,now they’re rich and happy,and I’m just a pathetic Care In The Comunity mentalist half stoned on antipsychotics,and next weeek,or the week affter ATOS will stop my benefit,I hate life!

  8. To do this to anyone is awful, but to a BLIND woman is truly sickening. God this is bedroom tax is disgusting. I wish on times like this I could win the lottery and be able to help her. There is no need for Cameron to do this to people at all.

    • It is NOT a tax, you pay tax on income … benefits are gratis from the taxpayer. If they go down then tough … deal with it!

      • You do not just pay tax on income… you pay it every time you buy something or rent/hire anything ! It is called VAT … so in the right context it is a Bedroom TAX the government has ADDED… but its not VALUE as it is costing more to take those who can not pay it (not will not pay it) to court!

        • From this Americans prospective, and not having a dog in this hunt, your law in this case is just bad. Bad social policy, because it causes more harm then good, on the groups in your country that can least afford it, and bad because it does not solve the underlying problem of lack of properly sized subsidized housing for those who qualify for it. The politicians as is usual want to reduce complex problems to slogans that have no real meaning.
          If your country has such a pressing need to dispossess those people now living in these units that they have been living in apparently for any number of years, there are a number of more reasonably humane ways of doing it. But I think the real underlying problem remains two. 1. Your country decided at some point after WW2 to build a housing plan based on a massive public housing sector, instead of a private housing sector that was built at the same time in the U.S., this I have to put down to who owned the land, and what your banks were doing in housing loans to the public at that time, and of course your government and its policies. These plans were built for the same reasons, to house returning veterans, and promote economic growth, Americans did this with the GI Bill that gave lots of benefits to returning Veterans, though changes in Banking laws, and government loan programs. While we do have subsidized housing, it is a smaller part of the housing market in the US because here, housing lending, is how we subsidize the lower end of the market place. Through loan rates, down payment programs, and abatements on property taxes.. 2. Your people tend to stay in these housing programs longer then in the US, because of the economics and income, but as you can see now, this was, and is a trap. It takes them out of the real housing market place, long term it makes them poorer, and it closes their voice in the fight for the change, that has to be made in your system, if it is going to properly house your population. You can not house a growing population on a limited land mass, by your laws restricting where, and how one can build, you close the market for growth. This in-turn drives the price of new builds up, and drives the price of existing housing up also. Effectively pricing a greater proportion of your population out of the open market place each year, and increasing the need for more subsidized housing that is not getting built in any real numbers to meet the need either. I could call it a cultural thing, not that you as a people are less active in the housing market place, it is that your laws, and political actions, have closed off vest areas of your country to housing development, that is the problem, and by doing so , increased the cost of housing for everyone rich and poor alike. But the effects of these laws fall harder on the poor, and middle class in your country. Your housing planning systems are overly rigid, and are more in the business of protection the status quo, then promoting housing development. Your systems and laws together lock a lot more people out of the home ownership market then in the US, where governmental policy is, and has been to promote private home ownership. Home builders like everyone else are economic creatures, given the playing field for housing development in your country, they will always go for best use of any building lots they can get, and as such build the most expensive house that site can take. Lack of land to build on, governmental restrictions on where one can live and what one can build, and financing, is your disease, to cure it, you have to change your governments land use, and banking policies, all the rest you are talking about are symptoms of the disease, lack of affordable housing, over crowded cities, substandard housing, slum housing, bad banking practices, bad governance, and others symptoms, some as bad in there own right, but the underlying disease is the problem.

          I write too long here, talk too much, and I have repeated a point too often, I do so because all the rest is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, you have the power in your country to change things, if you can bring your power to bare, you out number them, but they hold the organizational edge. You guys must relearn how to fight, go back and look at the union organizing fights in your country, the fight for women’s rights, the pole tax fight, and others that you know better then I, just an interested American, for lessons of how to pull diverse peoples into coherent power groups for their own benefit. Stop thinking of changing governments, think of changing seats, you knock off enough seats, you knock off the government, concentrate your power and kill the bastards. A politicians seat is never safe, if his opponent gets one more vote then he does, find that vote.

  9. Where have I heard this before,” O’ yes, Let Them Eat Cake”, the solution to that is the
    same, as last time. But here is the real question, in your country you have a long term housing problem, along with others, because you let your various governments, over the years, control Land Use, to the Extreme. What and where you could build, to the point that a family, can not build a home, for their own family members, on their own land. You have allowed your selves to be choked into city centers, and estate, with little or no room to grow, or account for the natural growth in families. This, and grossly incompetent government housing policies, “Where were your Private Home Builders, or people and families buying land and building, O’ Right Lack of Land, due to government action”, has driven housing cost sky high, which accounts for the homeless problem, you face, and the affordability crisis, you then turned to the government to solve the crisis, it itself made. These actions on the part of your governments, Labor and Conservative, is why you find your selves at this sad place today. Worse your government and banking groups have made sure that you can not get long term financing of home mortgages, in the USA we finance homes at market rates, today that would be anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5% fixed rate at time of purchase, for up to a thirty years loan term, with as little as 2.5% of the value of the purchase price as down payment, and closing cost of about 3.5%, and we pay that home mortgage payment amount monthly, not biweekly as you do. An example a home in the USA costing $150,000.00 US Dollars, would cost a family or person to buy, a down payment of 2.5% or $3,750.00, with closing cost of about 3.5% or $5,250.00 for a total cash need to purchase of $ 9,000.00 US Dollars, with a mortgage balance of $146,250, this amount would be paid over the Thirty (30) year term of the loan at an interest rate in todays market of about 3.23% at a payment of $636.49 a month plus property taxes and house insurance and for this loan type a government insurance on the loan itself, this would bring the monthly cost up to about $1,050.00 to $1,100.00 depending on the tax cost where the home was purchased. The numbers I am using are from the Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, areas of the USA, the cost could be lower or high depending on the state the home was bought in. I know this because I am a Realtor who has sold homes for a living for Twenty plus years, and counting, I am also a Black guy. These types of loan have been in effect in the USA since the late 1940’s and into the 1950’s and to now, and allowed my family in that time frame to buy two homes one my mother still lives in to this day. Least you think we were wealthy, this is the farthest from the truth, my family was lower working class, edging on poor at times, and made very little money. and used funds from the sale of the first house, to buy the second. These policies allowed American families Black, and White, to build wealth, as lower working class and poor families. How is it that in your country instead of building wealth through home ownership, you were sucked into government rental housing, that only enriched the elite’s long term, and you find yourselves at the mercy of these scum in your present government. As to your so called,”Bed Room Tax”, which is a not so nice way of saying , yes you raised your families here and payed on time , but I own it, and screw you, this is a result of the, “Mad Hatters Running the Tea House”. There are lots of ways to allocate scarce resources, but this is one of the worse I have ever heard of, if a US government tried that, no they would not, for they know what would happen to them. The party in power has absolutely no respect for you as a people, or your political power, as you have diluted it, and the people you support, have sold you out. and thus will do anything it likes to you, As a People You Need to Learn How to Fight Again, only when you have put the heads of those who would grind you into the dirt on a Pike, will the rest understand that you are not to be trifled with, “Your Enemies, Must Either Fear You ,Or Respect You, Or They Will Take Liberties”. Politicians are the most replaceable commodity around, one why or another, you guys need to find that way. I look at the economics of what is going on in your country and Europe, and I see a powder keg, waiting for a match. The Elite’s are still holding on, because the rest of you are still Crawling on your Knees, trying to,”Reason” with these Rats, instead of Standing On Your Feet, and Sharpening Pikes, You Do Out Number Them.

    • i think you make a very good point, they know that the s**t is going to hit the fan, as they have allowed the use of water cannons and anti riot guns in recent weeks, we do outnumber them but it almost seems as if we have all lost the will and the fight but then it is easy too when we are being slowly destroyed by our own government, not only am i losing £65 a month through the under occupancy charge and council tax, they sent me three letters the other day saying that they calculated my housing benefit wrong and overpaid the housing association by £13 a week extra and i have to make up the extra shortfall in my rent for their mistake on top of what is already going out to the council! I cant afford to eat now little own buy toiletries and other essentials. I definitely think it is time that something needs doing,before more people and families are pushed out onto the streets and over the edge, how long will it be before people are fighting over scraps of food like rabid dogs… the way things are going it wont be long.

    • Sir, you live the American dream, many who post on this regard property ownership as undesirable, they espouse the principles of state provided rented accommodation. Some will go so far as to say “property is theft”
      But my American friends need to be cautious for the current administration appears to favour big government.

      • Dear Sir: I agree with you that our American admin. does seem to favor big government. They are also tending to NOT listen to the average American, and are doing their best to destroy our Constitution and Rights set forth therein. I do see a corollary between our countries in that the people…ordinary, hard working, or disabled, or veteran, etc. are more apt to bitch about all that’s wrong, but keep voting for the SAME IDIOTS who make the laws and regulations that they bitch about. On both sides of “the Pond”, we need to stop being complacent, vote for those who fight for the people, not big business…not the rich! Since neither country is a “Cuba” yet, we ALL need to get off our collective duffs and MAKE THE CHANGES we bitch about being needed so that we can all live without fear of losing our homes and what’s left of our dignity. The more we just sit and bitch, the more our governments are going to walk all over us.

        Unfortunately, I just don’t see an easy solution for either country. If we leave it to the government, they’ll eat us alive. If we leave it to the people, they’ll let the government eat us alive as long as they still get to bitch about it! Common sense seems to have become a luxury no one wants to have, but everyone complains is in short supply. Much luck to you and yours, and may both our countries wake up and do something more than complain.

        Bright blessings!

  10. I am disabled through my diabetes and am in so much pain but was perfectly okay mentally sadly my partner left me and took my son away from me to Scotland but being a loving dad no one will ever stop me from seeing my son and yes I try my best but I applied for a one bedroom place but was told I can only get the accomadation of 2 bedrooms so my son legally had his own bedroom so off course I had to accept and he sleeps at my flat 3nights a week every week sometimes 4 or 5 but cause his mother has him legally but he mostly with me I don’t claim any money for him I think I would if I could but I cant so I manage on the little I get but now the government are punishing me for not running away from my paren responsabilites like a lot off men and if I pay the bedroom tax I cant have my son cause I cant buy him the food he needs at mine and for school and I cant have a 1 bedroom flat cause my son cant legally stay and cause there are none I cry every night cause im scared I will lose what me and my boy have ive lost everything and this is honest I will kill myself if this causes me to lose my son and don’t just blame ids blame the lot who voted for this tax to kill off the unlucky

  11. Tenents cannot reclassify their homes, only the landlord can, and this is what Leeds council have done. Hopefully other HAs and local councils will follow suit.

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  13. The crazy thing is the people who pushed this through have 2 homes at least one in London and one in the constituency they represent. They are paid by the tax payer and claim money from the Taxes to furnish there homes….

    I have a small house that has taken me years to make comfortable… I’m sick with multiple disabilities I cant get any help or assistance from anyone.

    I now live in fear that as I have an extra room and I will be evicted because I cant afford the additional rent. I care for my mother but it seems that if I move She will be put into a home. Which will cost £600 a week. I need £25 rent… Do the maths… They gain loose £25 from me, and fund my moving costs to rehouse me. I plus they pay £600 to cover her care cost . Per week Your all tax payers which is better????

    THe people supporting these changes just don’t seem to understand it not the finance its the stress of having to move into a new place. Setting up new doctors gas Electric , phone bills The stress will cause most of the sick and disabled over the edge??? Plus put a burden on the already stretched NHS services… Who does this help???? I’m not a scrounger I’m a person that is disabled through no fault of my own.

  14. Local Govt Finance Act 2012, section 10 (1), 13A(1) state that the local authority can write off these debts if the debtor cannot reasonably be expected to pay. The Wednesbury principles say how such rules should be applied.. Write to your council if you are affected and explain that you cannot pay, quoting the above. You may also be able to appeal on the basis of the above.

  15. A BEDROOM TAX????!!!!! Have you guys in the government over there on the other side of the pond totally lost your freakin’ minds???!!! What next, a tolet paper tax? A four burner stove tax? A stairway tax, where you tax each individual step? Can you be any more greedy? What’s WRONG with you anyway?

    • What bollax. I have paid tax for 42 years and I am sick of moaning scroungers expecting me to pay for their “free” living. Families need those bedrooms and you don’t get the benefit if you rent privately. You stick to your silly president and we’ll rebuild our economy!!!

      • Hi Roy, government shill. Nobody thinks like you, only government shills paid to make it appear as if people are up in arms over supposed ‘scroungers’. Crawl back in to your hole. People are getting educated as to the sort of shills which the government employ. Get a proper job cleaning toilets.

      • you may have paid tax for 42 years, but what happens when you loose your job? you may have savings but if those dry up youll be in the same position as those on benefits.

        l know quite a few who have ended up in that position who held similar ideals as yourself up till they got to experience what its like on benefits.

        oh and benefits claimants do pay tax. after all its added to everything that money is spent on

      • You are an idiot. THINK for once. Largest majority of those who claim any welfare HAVE paid into the system like you. Not their fault they have now become to some extent disabled. It could happen to you. One in four at some time in their lives have some degree of disability. The economy you talk about requires growth. FACT. The biggest spenders in local economies are those in the bottom twenty per cent of household incomes. Many of those are needing welfare to top up their wages. YES. Most people who get welfare ARE working like you Roy. This tax and the twenty fiver per cent cut in housing support has removed millions of pounds that could be spent in the shops creating growth and so creating work via demand. Duncan-Smith has conned you into this workers versus shirkers. He fails to tell you that unemployment benefit, £70 a week or £3640 a year, is only ten per cent of the welfare bill. One treasurer minister claimed £8400 in travelling expenses for his children . Over twice what a person who has lost their job receives. So find out, research the reality. Do not comment until you know the facts. The people talked about in the article are REAL people. They did not create the recession. So why should they be the ones taking the hit. Too many comment without seeking the facts.

    • Teri, it is not a bedroom tax (which is just a name given by those opposing it), but a reduction in the benefit given to those in Council provided housing if they are deemed to have spare bedrooms over the number assessed as required for the family unit.

      (It does not apply to people receiving benefit and living in private accommodation who already only receive benefit based on the rooms assessed as required.)

      Councils do have an additional fund to help those who are considered to have good reason to be in a larger home than the formula would allow, which might include the examples above, but this is widely regarded as not big enough and has to be applied for with no certainty of getting it.

        • If it’s a tax, why aren’t we being asked for it?
          My wife and I live in a 3 bed semi, just us and cat. Nobodies asked us to pay a ‘tax’
          Let’s get real, this is designed to stop people living at taxpayers expense in larger accommodation than they need, not want, need.

  16. I have a disabled hubby,two disabled parents and sadly I have my eldest daughter become disabled through neglect of her doctors surgery,I have a room of my own as my husbands condition means he don’t sleep well and I ended up exhusted,the council don’t recognise that,I told them if my daughter is really bad then i have my two granddaughters to stay as i cannot be in two places at once and also if one of my parents fo into hospital then the other got to stay over as again I cannot be in two places at once.I am struggling to find an extra £125 per month.if i did not help then the government would have to pay a hell of a lot more to care for these people i look after.

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    • I’m from the USA and that is fucked up a room tax will only affect the poor/low income. How many rooms does the queen have and how much is she paying? That’s what the room tax is for so the queen can have all her pretty stuff.

  19. these evil minded attacks on the poor and disabled have to stop ..people thought margaret thatcher was bad. This government makes her look like a saint

  20. Absolutely shameful, I’m sure that our “Representatives” at Westminister are completely out of touch with the lives of a majority of our population. I’m just hoping that they reap the whirlwind at the next General Election. Hopefully someone will stand against IDS in his own constituency on these issues and beat him soundly. Evil, self satisfied, oleaginous and sociopathic!

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