A 59 year old disabled woman from Birmingham talks about how she will be hit by the Bedroom Tax. She has been living in the house for the past 31 years and she finds it as a difficult task to leave the place.
Requesting anonymity, she explains her situation:
“I have been living in a social housing arrangement in Birmingham for 31 years. I am on Disability Living Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as I have Scoliosis and suffer from long standing anxiety attacks and depression.
“From the age of 15, I had been working in a factory 40 hours a week and paying my taxes. I have done a lot of physical lifting and carrying and cleaning. Even after my marriage, I had to work for my three children. Now all got settled in their life and left home.
“I live in a three bedroom house as it was allocated to me 31 years ago when I had three children to bring up. It is my home, my safe place. Words cannot express how upset I am and how this decision is affecting my illnesses.”
She considers Bedroom Tax to be all about social cleansing. Getting rid of the poor, disabled people of society and slowly squeezing the life out of them and making them suffer are the reasons for introducing such taxes.
Criticising the government, she says:
“I believe this government is ashamed of disabled and poor people because this tax does not affect anyone else. If you have the money you can stay in an under occupied house but if you are dependent on benefits you can’t afford to stay as you don’t have enough money to pay and eat or heat.
“I think the government will just top up the causes they choose to support with the extra money. I suspect none of this money will be spent to build more suitable housing after they’re sold. In fact they’re still selling their social housing stock at ridiculous knock down prices.”
“Housing benefit enables me to live like a human being. Take that away from me and I may as well be a homeless animal scrounging around the wealthy’s bins for food.”
She says there is no one-bedroom accommodation available under her housing benefits scheme.
” I will have to suffer and pay more. I am living on the edge of fear all the time and feel very ill and frightened. I had a life, when once looked forward to being this age, enjoying with grandchildren. But not anymore.”
To solve such problems at least in future, she shares her opinion saying that the government can implement the changes with new tenancies after April 1st. This would create awareness among people and plan their future expenses accordingly. Instead of not just dropping this bombshell out of the blue and causing untold misery and hardships.