Heartbreaking. Grandmother commits suicide due to bedroom tax.

(211 Posts)
Darkesteyes Sat 11-May-13 22:33:22

This is heart rending. She left a note before heading to the moterway.


pinkpaws Sun 12-May-13 10:30:14

To be honest i think what i have just read is very very sad but i also think with better support that lady would still be alive. She couldnt work but was not getting PAP nor did it seem that any of the smaller houses offered where suitable .Surely if your choice is to more house or take your life a house move is for the best. It also said if she moved she would have to lift carpets and strip wallpaper herself in the new house really she had a son and am sure friends that could have helped. She left letters saying it was no ones fault expect the goverment really i think this lady was let down by many others my thoughts are with her son . Who may at some point be asking himself if he could have done more.

HeySoulSister Sun 12-May-13 10:40:27

her poor daughter!!

but really,so many face this situation,i know I do too.

DolomitesDonkey Sun 12-May-13 10:46:45

What pink paws said.

Suicide is not contemplated by those not already at the brink. A trigger might be identified, but it is a build up of problems.

DolomitesDonkey Sun 12-May-13 10:47:41

Oh and can we please drop this bonkers phrase "bedroom tax"? If anything it's a "taxpayer's tax".

LadyStark Sun 12-May-13 10:49:24

People commit suicide largely because of mental health issues. Trying to politicise such an event is disgusting, the mirror should be ashamed.

ReadyToPop77 Sun 12-May-13 10:50:43

With pinkpaws on this. It's tragic but no-one in their 'right mind' would choose to take their life over this sad

It is awfully sad but this lady should have had more support from her family.

But really people have to understand that if they live in a rented council property no matter how long they have lived there it does not belong to them and due to the lack of suitable sized housing once they live along it is perfectly reasonable to expect them to live in a smaller property.

edam Sun 12-May-13 11:21:23

Madame, that sounds very reasonable in theory. And if the government made sure there were plenty of decent one bed flats available for people to downsize, and encouraged/helped people to move, that might be equally reasonable.

That is not what is happening, however. What is happening is that poor people are being punished for the failure of successive governments to invest in social housing. And some of them are being driven to suicide. That is horrifying and plain wrong.

RonaldMcDonald Sun 12-May-13 11:21:38

It's very sad. That poor, poor woman and her family and friends.

I think that sometimes it's easy for us to negate the effects of extra stress and anxiety on people.
Please don't blame her family and the support they provided.

ReluctantlyBeingYoniMassaged Sun 12-May-13 11:24:29

If she was renting privately her landlord could have asked her to move at any time, or put her rent up until it was out of reach.

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 11:27:23

I'm appalled that a national newspaper should attempt to make political capital out of someone who had clearly suffered with mental health issues taking her own life.

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 11:28:47

<quick disclaimer> I have never voted Tory, nor do I support this government's housing policy.

But I don't like one family's private misery being touted all over the press to make a political point.

80sMum Sun 12-May-13 11:39:44

Very sad situation. The poor woman was evidently very depressed and her family didn't realise how bad it was.
Although she stated it in her note, this is not the fault of the government though. She made the decision to end her life, so the "blame" must lie with her.
The Mirror is using a sad story to make a political point.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 12:12:33

80smum she stated in her note that the Government were to blame. You have got that back to front.

I am a bit surprised at some of the comments on this thread. She stated in her notes why she was going to kill herself, the family are obviously involved in the story being reported. AFAIK the article is factually correct.

I think some people underestimate how it feels to be old and skint and "a burden" and not know what to do.

Those who are laying the blame for this at the door of her family are just guessing and it's a pretty nasty guess to make unfounded.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 12:15:33

Oh sorry 80s mum you did realise that she blamed the government.

I don't understand how some people don't understand that being faced with losing your roots, your independence, many things that you love, with no idea how to make happen what needs to be done, plus a load of stress, anxiety and financial worry, might be enough to drive someone to suicide.

HeySoulSister Sun 12-May-13 12:17:44

she was willing to move though and had been offered an alternative. it didn't suit her exact requirements. so she felt suicide was the way.

the article says the bungalow offered was 30 mins from a bus stop....I have never known council accomadation for older people to be that isolated

80sMum Sun 12-May-13 12:23:07

She wasn't old. She was only 53.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 12:24:27

Oh well that's OK then smile

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 12:26:48

Yes, she blamed the government - but her actions were not rational so it is not fair to make political capital out of them.

A sad story but she had housing options, unless I read wrongly they offered her £2000 and a bungalow which meant she wouldn't have been subject to the 'bedroom tax'. There must have been some underlying issues or problems. Heartbreaking for the family, and I can see why they have been angry enough to take it to press, maybe in a similar position I would do the same, but its not the governments fault for once.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 12:32:08

They were obviously rational to her.

She couldn't see a way out of what was happening. Loads of people commit suicide for those reasons, especially in times of recession. It's not exactly uncommon.

She was vulnerable, ill, skint and desperate, and facing a difficult future. It's not difficult to understand her motivations for doing what she did.

mumblechum1 Sun 12-May-13 12:32:39

I don't think 53 is exactly elderly!

As Wuldric said, she blamed the "bedroom tax", but really it does sound as though she was suffering from depression and that it was just the trigger.

Was she physically disabled in some way?

Icantstopeatinglol Sun 12-May-13 12:39:10

This is really sad and I don't understand why she wasn't registered disabled if she couldn't work etc (if I've read that right!?).
She also obviously had underlying issues aswell though, I don't think this alone would drive someone to suicide. She was offered other accommodation, I understand it wasn't exactly suitable but I'm sure there are others in worse situations. For someone to do this must mean she had other problems too.
So sad though, it's sad she felt she had nowhere to turn to.

edam Sun 12-May-13 12:43:24

Why is everyone blaming her, or her family? She was very clear about who she blamed.

It's very frightening when you are being pushed around by the authorities, especially when you are vulnerable. She clearly couldn't see a way out, the poor woman. Being powerless is miserable and terrifying.

She wasn't offered £2k to move, she was told that would be reduced by any repairs the council deemed necessary - so yet again she was at the mercy of the authorities. Being told to move to a place with no transport is not a solution.

And if she was depressed, how does booting her out of her home help? Shelter is a basic human need. A safe, permanent home should be the right of everyone, especially in one of the wealthiest countries in the world (IIRC even after the financial crisis we are still sixth or seventh).

Bullying the poor and vulnerable is despicable. Not that any of the government ministers concerned will give a toss, none of them have a clue what it's like to be anything other than a millionaire. They seem to think it's a badge of pride to give the poor a good kicking.

Viviennemary Sun 12-May-13 13:48:21

I too think it is out of order to blame the government for this totally tragic event. It appears this lady should have been getting disability benefit as she was unable to work. And could her family not have helped out in the short term.

janey68 Sun 12-May-13 13:58:33

I also think its disgusting to try to politicise this. And actually you could turn it around and say that anybody could commit suicide 'because' of the govt. What about families under severe stress because they can't get social housing? What about private renters who have to pay all their own bills and then suddenly up sticks and move home and maybe children's schools because the landlord has increased the rent? What about people who get made redundant and lose their house? What about the many thousands of people who may face repossession when the govt eventually puts up interest rates? (As it will). You could go on and on. This woman killed herself because of her mental health. There may be triggers, but those triggers can be anything, and the mirror is shamelessly exploiting people by trying to get them to fall for this claptrap

I would have done the repairs for her if she was my mum.

If the place she was offered wasn't suitable why did they not make a stand, go to their mp etc? Why didn't the family do more?

She wasn't booted out either, she was offered shelter, it just wasn't deemed appropriate for her.

Would you rather a family of 5 share a 2 bed place and have this woman rattling round in her 3 bed house??

Everyone is having to make sacrifices, be it where you shop, whether you have more kids, whether you run a car etc. why should this woman have been any different?

janey68 Sun 12-May-13 14:10:54

I agree. You could equally well have a family with 2 or 3 young children living nearly in extremely cramped stressful conditions where the mum or dad could kill themself.
Ideally yes of course there should be more social housing- but the fact remains there would still be situations like this where a single older person no longer needs their larger property and its just not right or fair that they get to hang onto it just because its preferable to moving. Neither do I think it's right for people to cast blame on the family. Ultimately it sounds as though this woman had a strong emotional attachment to the house and garden and tbh would probably have resisted moving whatever. But these are the situations which face everyone... If you're a home owner you have to downsize when you can't afford to heat or maintain your property. As a private renter you are FAR more at the mercy of others than a social housing tenant.
It's a sad story but I think it's utterly wrong for anyone to lay blame on the govt or the woman's family. She wasn't being made homeless, she was offered a roof over her head but she clearly wasn't able to accept that that involved some changes to her life

janey68 Sun 12-May-13 14:11:18

Nearly = nearBY

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 14:41:40

People are saying this woman who has committed suicide was "out of order" to blame the govt?

I would have thought it is up to her who she blames, to be honest. Seems crass in the extreme to describe a woman who has committed suicide as "out of order".

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 14:45:21

Also don't understand the mental health problems thing.

Well she may have had underlying mental health problems, she may not. If she did, why do people feel that it is appropriate to have stress and pressure applied to her? To the point where she commits suicide?

I think we will see a lot more of this - vulnerable people taking desperate action and then being blamed for doing so due to their vulnerability.

This is not the first suicide that has occurred as a consequence of the govt changes and it won't be the last. looking at govt you can see that this type of story is no more than "collateral damage" and the gains they are after in terms of ideology is worth the consequences in terms of human suffering. I understand that. I feel a bit ill when individuals support this approach as well.

Why is it wrong to question the beliefs of someone because they have ended their life.

This is all very sad but say this woman had a mortgage which she couldn't pay once her board paying kids had moved out? Would you all be saying the government should subsidise her mortgage to allow her to stay in the same house or is she less entitled or the other woman more entitled due to being in receipt of benefits.

janey68 Sun 12-May-13 14:47:54

Well, yes, in one sense it's totally up to her what she wanted to believe in her head were her reasons. But she did actually write it down and someone - presumably her family- have gone public on it. Which in the opinion of many of us has backfired because in many ways it comes across as a selfish act. It also fails to recognise that her hanging onto a 3 bedroom house was barring young families (also in stressful situations) from being adequately housed

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 14:49:54

You don't think it is crass to call a woman who has committed suicide "out of order"?

People think it is OK to disregard what this woman stated were her reasons for doing what she did just because, what? They think they know her reasons better than she did, even though they never knew her? How can people presume to guess what was going on with her, and dismiss her own explanation and the things that she had said to people around her?

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 14:50:54



I despair, I really do. When a story of a suicide is treated with this type of reaction I don't hold out much hope, really.

phantomnamechanger Sun 12-May-13 14:51:03

I sympathise with her family and friends, of course, but I also feel incredible sorry for the poor lorry driver sad who could do nothing to avoid the incident and will probably be reliving it over and over again, and terrified of it happening again. Thank God he was not caused to swerve into other vehicles and wipe out entire car loads.

When someone you love commits suicide, you want something to blame. This lady has given her family and friends that "scapegoat" by leaving her note blaming the government, but much as I disagree with some of these new policies, there is more to it - the poor lady MUST have had other issues or been very depressed to have taken this action. It wasn't as if she had noone who cared about her either, people who could have helped her, supported her.

I think her chosen method was very selfish - horrendous for those emergency workers who will have been clearing the road of body parts and blood for a long time, and lifechanging to the driver of the lorry. But perhaps, as a doting mum and gran, who's probably never harmed a soul, this just shows the extent of her mental turmoil - she was not able to think of others and the impact on them. Or she would have just OD'd on the sleeping pills and gone peacefully to sleep.

very sad all round - just hope it does not lead others to think of the same way out of the so called bedroom tax

HeySoulSister Sun 12-May-13 14:55:38

God yes, the poor lorry driver! And everyone involved in the aftermath.

janey68 Sun 12-May-13 14:59:48

Ok nice tabard. They were her reasons. But that doesn't mean we all have to agree with them. I think it is unreasonable to want to hang on to social housing which is far bigger than you need. This woman was offered an alternative. In her view it was not acceptable. That doesn't mean there was anything wrong with it. Thousands of people move and deal with moving further from friends, the bus stop and buried pets. She couldn't - or wouldn't- face that. It doesn't automatically mean we all have to agree with her, or what she chose to do. It's perfectly acceptable to view someone's decision to commit suicide as a selfish act. It doesn't mean we don't feel sympathy for her family (and for the poor lorry driver who may well be traumatised and possibly have to take time off work - therefore losing income ... Etc Etc, not to mention indirect stress on his family....)

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 15:03:44

Interesting that some posters have said they feel sorry for her friends and family and of course the lorry driver who will be a right mess. But those posters have not said a word in those posts about feeling sorry for her. Which just about sums it up, I think.

I'm going to bow out now and leave you all to enjoy your outrage at this woman's "out of order" ideas and deeply selfish actions smile

janey68 Sun 12-May-13 15:08:43

I think you're transferring there. No one 'enjoying the outrage' ( odd turn of phrase...) hmm
Simply disagreeing that the govt is to blame for her decision to commit suicide rather than pay £20 a week towards her housing and remain in a 3 bed house as single person, or take the offer of smaller accommodation

Delayingtactic Sun 12-May-13 15:19:56

I do feel very sorry for this woman. To feel that you're in a place of no hope with no escape must be truly dreadful. But as others have said whilst there may be triggers to suicide it is not the same as being as being to blame. If faced with the same situation, most make do, call on family for support or access additional benefits (that she was rightly entitled to by the sounds of it). I no more agree with her stated reason for suicide than I would if someone committed suicide after their partner left them.

I feel more sorry for her children and for that lorry driver. It must have been an incredibly sickening thing to have happened to him, I can't imagine the fear and helplessness he must have felt.

I think it's disgusting that the mirror are politicising what is a personal family tragedy.

phantomnamechanger Sun 12-May-13 15:21:28

nicetabard - any suicide is sad, but she's not around for us to feel sorry for her though! yes I feel very sorry this has happened, at all, to anyone, but we need to feel sympathy for those left to deal with it. My sympathy for her is useless, and also somewhat diluted (can't think of a better word) by the fact that she endangered the lives of others.

That lorry driver could easliy have been killed. As could others on the motorway. so my overriding emotion is not sympathy for her, but Thank god noone else died as a result of this poor womans decision, regardless of whatever circumstances brought her to that desperate place.

GibberTheMonkey Sun 12-May-13 16:30:31

My first thought too was for the lorry driver
He may be so traumatised that he can't drive, he may lose his house. I bloody hope not

ithaka Sun 12-May-13 16:34:59

Even the Samaritans are quoted as saying "although a catalyst may appear to be obvious, suicide is never the result of a single factor or event and is likely to have several inter-related causes".

MrsSalvoMontalbano Sun 12-May-13 16:36:41

Agree about the poor lorry driver. And the tube drivers who often have 'one under'. Suicide is supremely selfish act by definition - I feel sorry for those left behind.

edam Sun 12-May-13 19:09:03

She's not the only person who has felt so hopeless they feel driven to take their lives through being victimised by the government. Several people whom ATOS has declared 'fit for work' have done the same. ATOS has a nasty habit of telling profoundly disabled people and the terminally ill they can go and get a job.

It's not 'politicising' anything to state the bald facts. Government policies are hitting real people, especially vulnerable people, very hard. Suicide rates and the incidence of mental illness go up in hard times - look up the stats during the Thatcher recessions, and Major's. If anyone is politicising anything, it's the government, pillorying anyone on benefits, calling them scroungers, suggesting disabled people are just lazy...

flippinada Sun 12-May-13 20:20:19

Sadly, I don't think this will be the first time we hear about this sort of thing. It's already happened on the continent.

My SD volunteers for the CAB and says that they are getting a huge increase in people asking for help because they have benefits stopped due to being judged fit to work when they very clearly aren't (I'm talking about people in their late 40s and 50s) and already people are struggling because of the bedroom tax. Demand for food parcels has increased too.

It's very hard to imagine if you have a reasonable standard of living (I do, but I'm not well off) but even a small amount out of your benefits can make a huge difference to what is already a pretty meagre standard of living. Living like that day to day with no prospect or hope of increasing your income is incredibly stressful and soul destroying.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Sun 12-May-13 20:29:05

The point is, tho' that 'benefits' are not there for life, they are a stop-gap to help people in acute circumstances. If you have too many rooms for your needs, you need to relinquish them to some who does need those rooms, and move to somewhere that suits your circumstances. 'Benefits' are there to help you temporarily.

flippinada Sun 12-May-13 20:36:40

But what if there aren't the properties to downsize to? One bedroom places (where they exist)are massively oversubscribed.

Also, What do you do if you're in (say) your mid fifties, in poor health and you've lost your job and no-one is hiring? Or, you've spent years caring for a family member..say an elderly person who's just died - how is that person going to get a job? Here's another scenario - SAHM who gave up her job to raise a family and has been left, late on in life.....well, you get the picture.

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 20:37:42

That poor woman.

This government are cunts.

edam Sun 12-May-13 20:41:29

MrsSavlo - you are precisely wrong. Council housing has always been a secure tenancy. That was the point of it - a safe and sound and permanent roof over your head. After WW2, people said they weren't falling for the same old tricks played on the workers after WW1. They wanted a better country, one that treated ordinary people fairly - so, decent council housing, not the slums, not slum landlords ripping people off.

It is this government that has torn up the social contract. And governments of the last 34 years that have failed to build enough houses, for rent and for sale.

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 20:43:41

Real people live in council houses,I think people forget that.

mumblechum1 Sun 12-May-13 20:45:58

Maybe the answer, if there are so few 1 bedroomed properties, is to convert bigger properties so that a 3 bed semi becomes two one bed flats......

Somethingtothinkabout Sun 12-May-13 20:49:07

Yes but if you want a secure tenancy, you need to own your own home, otherwise you are at the mercy of the owner (council, landlord, your partner etc).

It's a sad situation, but it's not the governments fault. She no longer needed a 3bed house, she prefered it I'm sure, and had a lot of memories there, but so does everyone else who suddenly has to move for reasons beyond their control.

edam Sun 12-May-13 20:50:29

That would probably be more expensive than building new houses, tbh, and would leave the country short of three bedroom stock.

We need to build, or convert, more affordable houses of all types - social housing, private housing, for rent and for sale. But it's far easier for the government to bully the poor and the vulnerable than to take some effing responsibility for the failure of housing policy - by successive governments.

edam Sun 12-May-13 20:52:49

Not everyone can buy their own home. She couldn't afford it, that's why she was in a council house in the first place.

Secure tenancies were available until the government just changed the rules. That's not her fault, it's the government's.

If the govt. gave a toss, they could do a lot to help by giving tenants in the private sector secure tenancies, rather than leaving people at the mercy of short-term lets.

flippinada Sun 12-May-13 20:53:28

Lots of people will never own their own home; not because they are lazy, entitled, workshy <insert 'feckless poor' stereotype here> but because they don't and will never earn enough.

These people deserve a secure home too. Hence council housing.

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 20:54:59

Well not everyone can afford to buy their own homes.
I don't think this government give a toss about families who are struggling.

They bring in taxes like this to get votes from idiots who think CH tenants are to blame for everything.

williaminajetfighter Sun 12-May-13 21:00:13

My father killed himself last year and at the end of his life it was hard for him to put things that happened to him in perspective.

I agree with what others are saying especially Janey. I had to move away from family and friends to get a new job and move to a new home. Thousands of people have to. People expecting to live in the same secure council home for their whole lives are living a fantasy when those in the 'private sector world' have no such thing.

Also can we please stop using the word 'bullying' or the phrase 'bullying the poor'? Bullying is the most overused phrase ever. When the govt Did a tax investigation - totally unwarranted - on my brothers business, was that bullying? Ditto when they wouldn't let me have access to council child are or took away my baby bonus. Was that bullying too. Honestly!

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 21:02:59

It's not CH tenants fault that private let's are not secure.

ReluctantlyBeingYoniMassaged Sun 12-May-13 21:09:07

No, it's not, but they have access to more realistic rents.

DelGirl Sun 12-May-13 21:09:13

totally agree with phantom, whilst I feel sad that she was driven to end her life, it was not because of the bedroom tax, it was because of her mental state. She did have options and I feel it was totally selfish to have involved someone else. Her actions could have ended up killing many people and the poor lorry driver will never forget this sad

flippinada Sun 12-May-13 21:12:04

william I am very sorry to hear about your father, losing a member of your family to suicide is a terrible thing.

You talk about moving out and moving away. But what about people who don't have that opportunity.

Seriously, how easy do people think it is for an adult in their 50s onward who perhaps hasn't worked for a number of years (caring for an elderly parent, raising children and then their spouse dies for example) or who has just been made redundant to get a job and get funds together..?

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 21:12:12

And why shouldn't they?

Do only well off people deserve secure homes?

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 21:14:50

This poor woman took her own life and posters are saying she deserved to lose her home?


flippinada Sun 12-May-13 21:15:12

I think it would be nice if we could not blame her family for not doing enough too.

How do we know they didn't? How do we know they hadn't tried x,y,z thing to help?

You cannot magic up money if it just isn't there or give more time and support than you are physically able.

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 21:17:42

I hope her family don't ever read this thresd.

williaminajetfighter Sun 12-May-13 21:23:42

Oh fGS sorry usual! im allowed my opinion. I personally really struggle with the idea that the state takes a paternal role for some of its people shielding them from the housing realities that others have faced. I hate that the state gets to pick and choose who gets 'looked after'. And I hate then that those given housing might be told they should deserve the same accommodation for the rest of their lives because its not realistic. Sorry that's my view. I am left wing but hate cradletograve nanny state and I'm allowed my opinion.

I don't want to hijack this post but going back to the original post but based on my experience no one kills themself for one particular incident. It's usually a build up of a number of things.

williaminajetfighter Sun 12-May-13 21:25:38

I also think its incredibly crass for her family to go to the media on this. I hope they didn't get paid for their story.

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 21:29:07

I think her family were right to highlight the way the bedroom tax affects people.

Viviennemary Sun 12-May-13 21:50:52

Her actions could have caused the death of many people in a motorway pile up. There are a lot of people struggling in a lot worse financial circumstances than she was. People who had poor housing and no family. It is a tragedy. But this blame game is ridiculous.

So who do you blame if your board paying kids move out and you have to down size as without their money you can't pay the mortgage yet there are no properties where you currently live that you can afford?

Who is at fault if you then kill yourself? The bank for not reducing your mortgage? Your kids for moving out or the state for not subsidising you right to live in a 3 bed house that you can't afford?

janey68 Sun 12-May-13 22:00:54

I agree vivienne. And even though fortunately no one else was physically harmed, we can only imagine the mental suffering of the lorry driver.. imagine having someone literally step in front of your fast moving vehicle.

The bottom line is: this woman was given a choice between remaining as a single person in a 3 bedroom house and paying £20 a week towards it, or moving to a one bedroom house which was less convenient and didn't hold the same memories, but not having to pay. Frankly, I think the original recipients of the welfare state would be amazed at the idea of even having such a choice. The welfare state has become so far removed from its original purpose as to be unrecognisable. It's supposed to be a safety net, providing shelter, food etc - not a life long entitlement to live in a particular house or location regardless of whether you need that amount of space. I also feel for the other families living in that locality who are overcrowded and stressed because they've been stuck on a council waiting list for god knows how many years. I wonder if the same people who are blaming the govt for this woman's suicide would also blame the govt if a parent from one of those families killed themself? hmm

mumblechum1 Sun 12-May-13 22:03:05

I suggested upthread that 3 bed semis could be converted to two X 1 bed flats. It wouldn't cost anywhere near as much as building brand new 1 beds, most of the cost is the land, it would just be a matter of putting an extra bathroom and kitchen in and physically separating the two homes within 1 building.

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 22:05:14

This thread is bloody awful

usualsuspect Sun 12-May-13 22:06:35

Yes I would blame the government for selling off and the decline of affordable housing.

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 22:12:02

I wonder if this thread has run its course?

Mumblechum - the voice of reason - yes that makes perfect sense - and in a country where the population is growing and the number of households is growing even faster than the population - we're all going to have less space to live in.

flippinada Sun 12-May-13 22:12:17

Isn't it just usualsuspect. But not, sadly, surprising.

As I said earlier this will happen more and more often. It's horrible; but increasingly we live in a society where people know the cost of everything and the value of nothing (to paraphrase OW).

Chanatan Sun 12-May-13 22:14:07

usualsuspect agree with both your points.

currentbuns Sun 12-May-13 22:43:00

I am in two minds about the bedroom tax. In principle, it does seem sensible, yet many people are clearly being badly hurt by it.
However, there are echoes here of the suicide note left by the nurse who was pranked by the Australian DJs. She wrote in her note that the DJs were to blame and should therefore pay her mortgage. Yet she had previously attempted suicide and was already depressed. The bedroom tax, the DJ's should both be regarded as a trigger, not a cause.
The Mirror piece was irresponsible, IMO.

edam Sun 12-May-13 22:50:34

I wonder how many MPs in the government have spare bedrooms? And how many will offer those spare bedrooms to people on the housing list?

Darkesteyes Sun 12-May-13 23:03:25

Why are people saying its the paper politicising it when it CLEARLY STATED IN HER NOTE the reason why she killed herself. Are we really going to choose to disbelieve suicide notes to fit the "bash the poor" agenda now.
If it was a suicide note written by a woman who was suffering domestic abuse would you disbelieve it and blame her or blame the person abusing her. Would you say the paper reporting that was "using it to politicise womens issues" !!!
Believe me with the cuts to womens services i really hope we dont see things like this but unfortunately i think we will. And if "(God forbid) we do i bet people on the thread that may start on here afterwards WONT be gaslighting or trying to rewrite history. Because that only seems to happen on threads like this where benefits are involved!

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 23:40:34

Yes but to reiterate points previously made, she was clearly unwell and this was just a tipping point. She had not been made homeless, she had a home offered to her. I appreciate that it was distressing to have to move and I understand this did not help her mental state. But to attribute her action to the government is not a correct reading of the situation. Tens of thousands of people have been affected by this change. Only one suicide.

Darkesteyes Sun 12-May-13 23:48:43


If it was a suicide note written by a woman who was suffering domestic abuse would you disbelieve it and blame her or blame the person abusing her. Would you say the paper reporting that was "using it to politicise womens issues" !!!

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 23:54:13

I would say that domestic violence is an abomination but that we live in a society where this is not condoned, there are ways out, as many brave Mumsnetters have discovered.

I absolutely do not like the way you are equating this tax with domestic violence. It's a ridiculous and emotional comparison.

I don't particularly enjoy paying tax, but I have do it, and cut my cloth accordingly.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 00:02:56

I AM NOT equating it with DV I am simply saying that if benefits WERNT involved in this case quite a lot of people on this thread would be humming a different tune.

And to call what i wrote emotional? So that poor lady commiting suicide is not an emotional thing then?

And those "ways out" you describe. They are slowly being eroded. Because of cuts. So no i dont think im being emotional at all.

Wuldric Mon 13-May-13 00:07:18

You are tired and irrational. Who has said anything about claiming benefits on this thread apart from you? What, you perceive a lack of empathy (not actually true, just a lack of willingness to blame the government) and you leap to the conclusion that this lack of empathy has arisen because the lady in question was on benefits? Nonsense.

Get to bed. It's late. I would myself but I am waiting for a call.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 00:19:17

First the gaslighting.
Then telling me to get to bed (ordering me around)
What you going to do for the hat trick i wonder.

Wuldric Mon 13-May-13 00:25:54

Laugh at you, silly smile

Gaslighting? What because I suggested that something other than the government might be to blame?

Sorry Edam why in gods name should MPs offer their spare rooms out? That's ridiculous. They bought and paid for their houses (we hope) so what have their spare rooms got to do with the matter?

GirlOutNumbered Mon 13-May-13 06:11:24

Would this story have got the same press if she couldn't afford her mortgage payments after kids leave home?
No and people would expect herr to downsize.

KittensandKids Mon 13-May-13 06:32:21

So much empathy and compassion hmm

janey68 Mon 13-May-13 06:41:01

Thousands of people aren't going to be able to afford their monthly mortgage payments when the government raise the base rate ( as they will, probably before the year is out). Those people will face repossession or ( if they are lucky ) selling their home and downsizing, no doubt to somewhere smaller ( despite how many kids they have ) , less desirable and further away from friends, jobs and school.
Thousands of people who haven't managed to get social housing, have to move out of their home with 8 weeks notice if their landlord puts the rent up or simply wants them out - they don't even need a reason for it.

These things happen all the time to thousands of people. They don't all kill themselves.

flippinada Mon 13-May-13 06:43:18

A person living in a property which they can sell and then buy another, smaller, property is in a far better position than a woman who has no assets and can't move.

Do people really not understand that folk are genuinely struggling - and I don't just mean not able to afford luxuries. To you or I £20 might sound like a small amount of money but for some people the could be a week's worth of food.

janey68 Mon 13-May-13 06:43:39

And that's not lacking compassion- of course what happened is bloody awful for the family and for the other people sadly involved such as the driver and their family. I am just pointing out that other people face the same or far worse situations and don't blame the govt or commit suicide

janey68 Mon 13-May-13 06:45:56

Flippinada- you seriously think everyone in a private rental can afford moving costs, deposit for new rental?
And that everyone with a mortgage can afford estate agents fees, solicitors costs, stamp duty and removal costs? Oh and ever heard of negative equity?

Seems those on benefits are yet again more entitled than those who aren't.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 08:02:54

it says in the article that she had never claimed disability benefits although she was unable to work due to illness so it sounds like her problems go back for many years/decades.

also killing yourself using an innocent lorry driver shows a lack of insight into your own actions.

there have been suicides in my family - but they dont elevate you to some special vantage point where your views are correct.

flippinada Mon 13-May-13 08:52:11

No I don't janey.

I've had experience of living in a council property, private rent and am lucky enough to have my own place now. Renting privately was both the most expensive and least secure option for me and I'm very, very glad I don't have to do it any more.

It is very hard and I have the utmost sympathy with anyone in that situation.

dotnet Mon 13-May-13 08:58:31

Thinking creatively... biggish thing to set up I suppose, but local authorities could/should encourage people in big L.A. houses to rent out a room, tax free - thus easing pressure on housing and not hitting existing renters in big houses or flats in the pocket.
Send out flyers to people in that situation, explaining the existing tax free rent a room scheme. Work out some way of ensuring fairness (so that the new sharer moving in doesn't end up effectively paying the lion's share of the house rent.)
For more vulnerable people, offer a 'find a sharer' service with support from a council worker to give any 'match' the best chance of working.
And as somebody said on the previous page, - split suitable bigger properties into two, as and when they become vacant.

flippinada Mon 13-May-13 09:02:13

Pressed send too soon smile - of course I've heard of those things

Losing your home is tough and extremely stressful for everyone, I wouldn't dream of saying otherwise and indeed have been there myself.

But it's a fact that if you own your own home you are likely to be in a more financially secure position - because you have the financial wherewithal to buy in the first place.

Someone who hasn't been able to work through years of illness can't just go out and get a job, how are they supposed to improve their financial situation?

janey68 Mon 13-May-13 09:04:53

I also think in future social housing should come with a regular review, eg: every 5 years, to check whether the tenant still needs a property that size. The whole concept of a council house for life, regardless of how many are living in it, is simply not tenable or fair. People in private rentals who havent been able to get social housing don't have anywhere near the security of council tenants , and even home owners at the mercy of falling house prices and rising interest rates can in reality have fewer options open to them, so this isn't a case of being harsh, it's simply recognising that in the big scheme of things, being offered a one bed place or being expected to pay £20 a week for a 3 bed place is hardly unreasonable.

Still a tragedy though for all the people affected by this

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 09:23:07

Some people have really had a number done on them by the government's propaganda machine.

Up until the severely disabled child legislation in the first week of March we were expected to pay BT. Now due to social rents being increased by the government to closer to market rents (yes they've done this) my 10% would have been £31 a week. Out of income support and carers allowance that would have been a third of our income. We're not allowed to use our other in comings as we get letters full of I'd warnings that that money must be used for the kids' needs... Which it is by the way. Not quite sure why the DWP harasses us with it.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't contemplated suicide over the stresses placed on us by welfare reform and cuts to NHS services. I have even found myself on the top of a car park. The thing that stops me is the fear of my kids going into residential care - DH can't do it on his own so that's what I'd do to them and I won't do that.

The DWP and SS know that though, which means they get to evade supporting us. Doesn't matter if we break.

As for family support DH's parents are dead and my mother, although not particularly elderly has arthritis herself, so she does what she can but that's not much. I've disowned my siblings as they think its as simple as telling me to 'get a job' having spent no more than two hours with my kids since they were born - my eldest is now 9. They have no idea of my life and no wish to know.

I save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds a year at my own physical and mental expense yet I also face utter contempt from some people on here.

Try walking in someone's shoes before you judge them in the ways I've seen on this thread.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 09:42:21

peneloppee - that sounds incredibly tough - but the woman in the story was well enough to keep her garden well tended so not the same circumstances.

Sorry Penelope but what has what you have posted got to do with subsidising someone to live in a house which is far bigger than they need.

I would prefer the government to slash benefits for those who are able to work, only pay benefits for 2 children and chuck money at people like you to make your life easier. As I am sure everyone would.

But the crux of the matter is that this woman did not need to stay in a 3 bed house.

I truly hate the bedroom tax and am as bleeding-heart liberal and Tory-hating as they come, but this poor woman had problems way over and above the bedroom tax.

She was not 'old' and helpless FFS, she was only a year older than I am! She apparently suffered from a disability which prevented her from working all her adult life but had for some reason never registered as disabled, OR got anyone to help her do so, to get the benefits she should have been entitled to.

She refused the offer of alternative housing because she didn't want to move away from her adult children, but they seemed to have been unaware of how desperate she was feeling about her financial situation, or the fact she wasn't eating but had 30 times of custard in the house. She obviously wasn't telling anyone anything about her difficulties. Surely if they'd known, they would have helped her out financially so she could stay living close to them?

It isn't uncommon for people to commit suicide and leave behind a note citing the most immediate of their problems as the cause, when in fact there have been many many long-standing issues contributing to their suicidal depression.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 10:30:57

It shows that the BT as a policy is deeply flawed. Yes we're ok but individuals with adult disabled children still needing high level care are still affected - ie bedrooms converted to lift shafts or to keep necessary bulky equipment are still counted as bedrooms even if they still cannot be used as such, so families with no other choice are having to pay on a very restricted income.

BT is not doing what it's creators intended, people cannot downsize as properties not available. Those that can do so into the private sector are increasing housing benefit bills as private rents are higher, thus welfare spending is going up.

Houses are not always too big for needs. The couple who has one partner on a large apnoea machine so they can't share a room are paying bedroom tax.

Yet a single pensioner living in a four bedroom house yet only able to live in one room would get full rent paid - no attack on pensioners but if this was truly to solve the housing crisis then pensioners and sex offenders wouldn't be exempt.

My post was also to demonstrate that the intimidatory letters from the DWP are frightening. They give me panic attacks. If you're in a difficult situation like mine then it IS enough to send you over the edge if you have other stressors.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 10:52:19

but this was a 52/53 yo woman in a 3 bed house with no special adaptions - so not the same as someone needing special bulky equipment.

Viviennemary Mon 13-May-13 12:51:25

People aren't paying bedroom tax. Nobody is paying bedroom tax. People are having the amount they are allocated for housing benefit reduced if they live in a property that is considered too large for their requirements. In this case one person in a three bedroomed house. If she was unable to work all her life because of disability I don't understand why she was not getting Incapacity benefit or whatever the equivalent is now and DLA.

This country has one of the most generous welfare systems in the world. And that is a fact.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 13:09:51

Live on it then, Vivienne.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 13-May-13 13:10:08

Vivienne - well said. She clearly did not want the children to blame themselves, so left them a note blaming others so they would not feel guilty. And shame on them for making it public.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 13:11:51

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Try walking a mile in someone's shoes before thinking you have all the answers.

Viviennemary Mon 13-May-13 13:40:24

Nobody knows the amount of money this lady had to live on or whether she was claiming all benefits she was entitled to. I don't have all the answers. But welfare and benefits need to be reformed to ensure those in the most need are getting the most help.

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 14:00:18

Yes she was one person in a 3 bed house but where are the suitable 1 bed flats? Successive governments have not built social housing, it's been sold off, owned mostly now, certainly where I live, by private landlords reaping the benefits of high rents. The farce behind the tax on bedrooms being that once forced into private rentals the rent will be far higher, so costing us more.

Where is the compassion for those weaker in society here? I can't believe that anyone can be so far removed from reality to realise that £20 a week would indeed cause serious distress to someone who struggled with life to whatever degree this poor lady did.

There are so many cases as penelopeepitstop has herself highlighted and it wrong to attack the most vulnerable members of our society in order to satisfy the daily mail wail of comfy undeserving poor, sick and disabled.

What about the families suffering from dv with panic rooms, they are also affected.

The weakest members of our society are being pressured, the DWP letters are indeed intimidating and we should hang our heads in shame for letting this happen.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 14:44:25

We're not though.
It's being eroded.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 14:45:25

The farce behind the tax on bedrooms being that once forced into private rentals the rent will be far higher, so costing us more.

but the social housing will be occupied by people with need for more space - who otherwise would have been requiring larger private rentals.

so more small private properties will be paid for using HB, but fewer larger ones, which will be more expensive.

if social housing is better used, the costs cannot increase and there are more people - just more housed in cheaper social housing.

mumblechum1 Mon 13-May-13 14:57:40

It certainly does sound like social housing needs to be swapped around regularly so that as people's families become bigger or smaller, they're housed in appropriate accommodation.

It sounds as though part of the problem is that once someone is in a property, they're stuck there even if they have more children, or indeed their children move out.

Maybe the government should make it more attractive to move to a more appropiately sized property when circumstances change.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 15:04:56

Even that would only work by making more housing available, in smaller sizes too, to enable downsizing.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 13-May-13 15:11:44

It is clearly untenable that a single person should be subsidised to live in a three bedroom property when there are families in B&Bs. with all the stress that generates. Better that those families have the houses, so the children can be placed in schools, and have security of knowing that they have a home for the duration of their schooling, and beyond , if they continue to live with their parents.
The rules do not force a person to move, even though morally they should - they can still stay if they want to, but, not at all unreasonably, they have to pay more.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 15:13:29

penelopee - how so?

you have a family of 4 say in private rental paid by HB and a single person in a 3 bed social house.

the family moves into the social house = no change in cost
but the single person will be cheaper to house in private rental than family of 4.

so a net saving. how can it be otherwise?

CrispyHedgeHog Mon 13-May-13 15:14:10

Some of you are incredibly heartless. I despair of humanity if this thread is representative of that.

There are thousands of people being negatively affected by these new policies. There have been 4-5 suicides in the last month alone. People being left with no income due to ATOS/DWP fuck ups.

I know of people who can only eat once every other day. One person I know didn't eat for 9 days because he had no money, no way of getting to a job centre and the area in which he lived had virtually no support services to help him. He's now been in hospital for a week. They want to discharge him but he has no where to go.

Most of us are only 1 accident, illness or redundancy away from being in similar circumstance. It would serve some of you well to remember that while you're judging from your ivory towers.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 15:26:56

Ok. So if I hadn't had an incredibly understanding paediatrician who gave us documentary evidence of our need for our house I'd have been in the same boat as other parents round here who had a certain home size to meet family disability need and have to give it up for someone more 'deserving'.

That's fair, oh yes. We're only parasites, that's all. Not human beings.

BT is not achieving its aims and just like ATOS is killing people.

I certainly won't be shouting out if this shower in government start attacking ivory tower-ites.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 15:48:48

I certainly won't be shouting out if this shower in government start attacking ivory tower-ites.

Neither will i Penelope.
Instead i shall be doing the i told you so song/dance from Will and Grace.

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 15:50:21

fasterstronger Try finding a private rental if you claim benefits.

janey68 Mon 13-May-13 15:57:01

Many objectors to the so called 'bedroom tax' based their objection on the fact that there aren't enough alternative smaller properties. But this woman WAS offered a smaller alternative. She just didn't want it. Ok, it would have meant changes, new neighbours, further from her adult children ( maybe) and not having the garden she'd lovingly tended. But fgs is anyone seriously suggesting that its the governments responsibility to keep everyone in the exact same conditions simply because they find change emotionally hard? What about people in private rentals who have to move? What about people with mortgages who are made redundant or who's payments double overnight when interest rates shoot up? I'd love to hear some serious practical proposals for how this Would work: after all, all these people are equally deserving

I want a welfare state where people's needs are met when they cannot help themselves. . A single woman does not NEED a 3 bedroom house. There was no issue about needing specialist equipment. She simply did not want to move to an entirely reasonable alternative property.

janey68 Mon 13-May-13 15:57:41


Viviennemary Mon 13-May-13 15:59:29

I cannot see what is heartless about expecting people to move out of state owned property to allow another family to benefit from that state owned house. A family with young children who may be in an overcroweded flat with no garden.

That person had the priviledge of this housing when their children were small why can't another family have that benefit. I think it's not logical or sensible to have any other rule. Even people who own their own houses often have to downsize as they cannot afford to maintain the property they are in.

CockyFox Mon 13-May-13 16:03:48

I am from Solihull, I don't know this family but I know people who live in Kingshurst ( where our big council estate is and hence this ladies family are) and I know some of them are mumsnetters so I am sure this thread will be read by friends and neighbours if not the family.
Clearly this is a very sad situation but having move is not unusual here, the council have been moving for many years in the name of North Solihull Regeneration. There is nowhere decent to go now even homeowners have been subject to compulsory purchase.

handcream Mon 13-May-13 16:05:19

I think whoever wrote this article had some left wing leanings that has really backfired. Surely no one is suggesting that we leave people as they are in case it upsets them to move. Clearly this woman had some other issues but blaming the government is IMHO not where the blame lies.

When someone rents a council place it is their's until they no longer need it. This woman is not much older than me but I dont believe she is working and it isnt right that she stays in a 3 bed house just because she wanted to.

If I lost my job I would lose the house. Just because I dont want to leave doesnt mean it wont happen!

usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 16:18:35

I'd like to know what all the heartless fuckers on this thread are doing to help the homeless.

I can't see them giving up their comfortable lifestyles to help the less fortunate anytime soon.

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 16:26:56

She wasn't working because she suffered from Myasthenia Gravis which is an auto immune system deficiency.

heartless fuckers indeed.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 16:28:45

You know what? I used to think it couldn't happen to me. I was 'successful' and needed no recourse to public funds.

I hope it happens to this lot. Each and every one.

usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 16:38:09

I don't think they would turn down the chance to buy a cheap house in case a not so well off family needed it more, do you?

only the poor have to do their bit,apparently.

usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 16:40:27

Actually they are more likely to buy up all the cheap houses and rent them out for extortionate rents.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 16:41:08

I'd like to know what all the heartless fuckers on this thread are doing to help the homeless.

when I was younger I took a weeks holiday every year to work on a homeless shelter for 7 years. now I have less time but DP & I paid 80k in tax 2012-2013 excluding my income.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 16:44:49

Actually they are more likely to buy up all the cheap houses and rent them out for extortionate rents.

that is just a stupid generalisation and carries the intellectual rigour of saying all people on benefits drink beer all day.

usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 16:44:55

Working with the homeless never changed your I'm alright Jack attitude then?

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 16:51:58

they had led terrible lives. mainly children's homes and LD.

but moving from a 3 bed house is not a terrible thing.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 16:54:36

Just seen this on Twitter.

Mick Philpott kills six kids and the Tories blame the benefit system
Bedroom tax victim commits suicide and they "cant comment on individual cases" !

handcream Mon 13-May-13 16:54:40

But this woman wasnt homeless. She had a three bed house provided to her. She was offered a smaller property. She decided to kill herself by throwing herself in front of a lorry.

I am sorry but does anyone really think that because of this and the fact she has blamed 'the government' mean that anyone who wants to stay in their old council house regardless of the size and the fact that children have long gone should be able to? She didnt think of anyone else sadly in this horrible situation. Not her family, that poor lorry driver or anyone else waiting for a 3 bed to come onto the council house list.

She clearly had some mental helath issues and I agree with some other posters, it isnt going to change the policy of moving people to more appropriate sized houses now that circumstances have changed.

handcream Mon 13-May-13 16:56:13

So, Darkesteyes. If you have say a 4 bed council property and your family have moved out - you should be allowed to stay there.... really....

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 16:56:19

It is pretty terrible if it's 30 minutes from a bus stop and you have Myasthenia Gravis.

bangs head against wall.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 16:58:59

snow - yes if that is correct the council have failed.

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 16:59:13

handcream, I think you had better stop because you have no compassion or empathy to even begin to understand or what drives someone to take their own life.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 16:59:30

I recognise a few names on this linked thread.

Seems quite a few of the more compassionless ones on here were happy to politicise in this case .........


PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 16:59:50

Oh of COURSE. She should have taken the property which meant shed be completely housebound, unable to shop for herself or get to medical appointments for her auto immune condition.

Silly me for not 'getting it' * face palm *
The alternative wasn't appropriate. I don't actually believe the posters here are dense, just wilfully obtuse and/or requiring an empathy transplant.

usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 17:01:31

So, the poorest in society give up their houses to help out other families

What exactly are the richest in society going to do to help the housing situation?

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 17:01:32

And since when was failing to claim benefits you're entitled to a bad thing around here? Surely according to the lot on here she should be beatified for not sucking the taxpayer dry...

CrispyHedgeHog Mon 13-May-13 17:02:46

I don't think anyone disagrees with the need to free up the bigger, under occupied properties for families who need them but this bedroom tax/spare room subsidy is NOT the answer.

Private lets mostly won't take people on hb, so that's not really a viable option.

I think there should be incentives to encourage people to move, pay their removal costs, give them a grant towards the cost of carpeting/decorating the new place because even if there are brand new carpets, the council will rip them out before allowing someone new to move in - and flooring etc is hideously expensive.

People on benefits generally can't afford the costs of moving, so if there was help with those expenses, I bet you'd get a lot more people downsizing. By making them pay extra when they're already on the bones of their arses will simply lead to debt, rent arrears, evictions and even more suicides.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 17:02:49

EXACTLY Penelope Its a no win situation isnt it.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 17:04:20

I think this merits posting again.

DarkesteyesMon 13-May-13 16:59:30

I recognise a few names on this linked thread.

Seems quite a few of the more compassionless ones on here were happy to politicise in this case .........


usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 17:07:26

I only ever see their names on these type of threads.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 17:08:24

Usual maybe they could have not artificially inflated house prices years ago driving up rents so they could profit?

Nah. They have to have their 'investment'. Sod those who need somewhere to live.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 17:09:03

Astroturfers, Usual?

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 17:10:37

Astroturfers - really do you think anyone would get paid for this debate?

usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 17:13:53

Hmm, odd they only ever post on benefit/council house thresds

Xenia Mon 13-May-13 17:19:05

Why shoudl we give women like this a 3 bed house for the next 30 years (!!!) at tax payer expense when ordinary families cannot get a council house and get no housing subsidy. Whilst everyone is sad she killed herself, the principle that you cannot keep your 3 bed house from age 50 - 90 or whenever you die is very very wise.

Most British people support the benefits cut policies, much as that pains the left wing mumsnetters who post on these topics. I has huge huge support from most working people.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 17:20:30

Thing is, Xenia, pensioners can under occupy all they like, making a lie of the reason for this policy.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 17:20:31

It wont be long before they start saying a single person in a one bedroom flat doesnt need both a bedroom AND a living room and then subject them to the bedroom tax unless they move to a bedsit.

Wuldric Mon 13-May-13 17:22:18

I didn't post on the Mick Philpott thread. This sort of conspiracy theorising is not helping move the debate forward.

Do you agree that it is not solely the government that caused this lady's suicide? Do you feel that it is possible or indeed probable that other factors were at play? Like perhaps being very depressed and seeing things out of proportion?

usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 17:22:43

Women like what?

Women with health issues?
Poor women?

cory Mon 13-May-13 17:22:53

What do people mean when they ask why she wasn't registered disabled? Do they imagine there is some kind of national register that you can just sign up for? Or do they mean, why did she not receive DLA? Do they understand the process?

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 17:24:52

This policy was enough to be the final straw, as is any dealing with local authority or DWP when you've too much to deal with already.

Stephanie Bottrill felt that was the case - don't forget she was a human being with a name.

People on here do tend to forget benefit claimants are people sometimes.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 17:26:22

oh good god. my gma had to move house recently. she is 96. of course she did not want to. but it the cuts, you know.

but she has to.
so she did.

she is a tough old so and so and now loves her new place.

I am sorry this woman killed herself but this is not a universal story.

people of all ages move all the time.

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 17:28:31

I agree with everything edam has posted, where is peoples empathy these days?

I said to my friend this morning, I read so many articles about 'scroungers' but the reality is a lot of people have to claim benefits either because of their own health or because they have to care someone else. Every single day for the last two weeks on top of my normal day to day caring responsibilities I have had to attend appointments, here there and everywhere because of the person i care for, or I have had to wait in for medication and products to be delivered. I really cannot see how a lot of carers (including myself) can work. I did work previously but as my daughter gets progressivley worse I really cannot ever envisage it again. That is unless I put her into state care and the government picked up the whole of her caring responsibilities and I went and got myself a hob

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 17:28:58

a Job! blush

oh arf at hob

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 17:29:07

DLA is vastly under claimed.

I have sufficient disabilities to qualify, however for one I haven't got the emotional health and strength to go through that for me, I have enough to deal with when it comes to the kids. I ended up that way being a Carer and saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

And secondly it will shortly be the case that you can't be disabled AND a Carer,even though many of us are both.

There hasn't been a disability 'register' held by local authorities since the 90s.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 17:29:52

Faster what cuts?
Pensioners are exempt from BT.

cory Mon 13-May-13 17:30:26

I have no idea of the rights and wrongs in the present case; there may well be more than one side to it.

But I am worried by a lot of current rhetoric that suggests that any disabled person who is not on some mythical register or has not been signed off by ATOS must be a fraud.

And I know many doctors are worried by a spate of disability related suicides.

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 17:31:30

On a practical note, if you are a carer please look at carers uk and see if you have a local charity for your county. Ours is very good and they will provide you with an advocate in order to help you get the support you need (which does include benefits) They also run carers support groups, cafes etc.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 17:32:05

Wuldric so you wernt one of the hypocrites who posted on the Philpott thread. Fair enough but that thread did have more than one poster you know. I didnt link it just for your benefit.

usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 17:34:42

Pensioners don't pay the bedroom tax.

so not quite sure why your grandmother had to move.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 17:36:50

There have been many suicides due to benefit cuts not just one as Wuldric claims.


Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 17:38:30
FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 17:40:11

no not due to the BT - her care home was being closed due to the cuts in local govt spending.

so the idea the old are unaffected is incorrect.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 17:40:16
Wuldric Mon 13-May-13 17:40:24

I am aware of only one suicide arising out of what has been dubbed the bedroom tax. That list doesn't add any further numbers.

It is interesting that it doesn't apply to pensioners. If not why not? What's the logic? Not that it's a particularly logical piece of legislation in the first place, I suppose.

cory Mon 13-May-13 17:42:23

Re the mythical register, dd's HT had two main arguments for refusing to recognise her as disabled:

the first was that she wasn't on this non-existent register

the second was that she was not statemented- the LEA told us quite distinctly that they never statemented for physical disabilities and that she was therefore not eligible

These two together apparently proved that she couldn't possibly be disabled.

You seem to hear more and more of this kind of thinking today.

usualsuspect Mon 13-May-13 17:44:39

Maybe people need to do a bit of research before they stick their their oar in.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 17:47:39

Exactly cory.

These two together apparently proved that she couldn't possibly be disabled

"If theres no conviction in the courts then the rape couldnt have happened" Jerry Hayes rape apologism on Question Time last week.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 17:51:36

I don think anyone is saying she was not disabled, but she did not access help for her disability/MH problems.

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 17:53:21

and it is that easy is it?

if you think it is you really do not have any idea at all and you do not have any idea how the council treat you when you try to access any more help or services

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 17:55:54

do you know I have had the most disgusting letter off the head of children's services at my council that I actually feel like naming and shaming he, He does the blame thing 'oh you are entitled to this are you? you cannot have it because of xyz that you haven't done' type thing angry I think they forget I am a Mother and I just care for my daughter and no-one apart from me gives a shit. I am not even difficult

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 17:56:14

Four requests for Carer assessments - denied by local authority.
Four referrals to the child disability team by different health/education depts all rejected as we 'cope'

* laughs hollowly *

Ah, I know, I'll go out get us some HELP today. Cos it's THAT easy.

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 17:57:19

exactly my experience too penelope

Wuldric Mon 13-May-13 18:04:06

She may not have been entitled to any help in terms of additional benefits etc. The GP seemed to fob her off with sleeping tablets. It's just not so easy to access help, and unfortunately when you are ill and at a low ebb, that's precisely when it is impossible to be pushy. Pushy patients get better outcomes.

cory Mon 13-May-13 18:10:45

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 17:51:36
"I don think anyone is saying she was not disabled, but she did not access help for her disability/MH problems."

Do we know that she had never tried to access help?

The Mirror's wording is totally unhelpful:

"Doctors had told her she was too ill to hold down a job, but she had never been registered as disabled, so she lived without disability benefit."

As explained earlier on the thread, you cannot be registered as disabled, there is no such register, so there is something wrong with the Mirror's statement here.

What you can do is apply for DLA. The forms are very difficult to fill in and many, many people who apply are turned down. This is no proof either that you are not disabled or that you have not tried in every way you could to get help. Speaking from bitter experience here.

What the Mirror claim happened cannot be the case, so something else must be the case instead and we don't know what that is.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 18:14:59

cory - I would agree with you if she was recently disabled - but she was life long.

and it has not always been as hard as it is now.

cory Mon 13-May-13 18:19:43

That is a point, Faster. Though it's a fair old while since it was easy if it ever was, certainly wasn't easy when I tried for dd under the last government either.

Anyway, I still think we need to know more: the strange wording of the journalist makes the whole situation difficult to understand and makes me suspect they haven't really understood it either.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 18:20:02

No, but there was more stigma then.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 18:21:35

That's nothing. The Mirror interviewed me at length regarding Universal Credit then produced an inch square 'article' that got all the facts wrong.

At least Polly Toynbee did a decent job.

cory Mon 13-May-13 18:22:03

Agree with Wuldric about pushy patients.

When dd first became obviously disabled, I believed anything I was told: so when HT said I must not refer to her as disabled, I accepted that, when the LEA said there was no help for her, I just took it for granted that they were right. It was only with the help of MN that I began to learn about how to access support. Also, I became exhausted and started weighing the energy that went into making claims against the need for energy to look after dd.

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 18:27:59

My late sister was chronically ill when I growing up, she was born in 1980. My Mum said there was little you could claim or what was available to claim then.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 18:37:48

Its NEVER been easy My DH was turned down for DLA in 1995 . He wasnt really well enough to work but had to work part time in a supermarket because the job i had in a sex chatline office wasnt paid enough to pay for rent council tax etc and ALL HIS PRESCRIPTIONS. He had a massive heart attack in 2006 and didnt get his full entitement until late 2008 two and a half years later.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 13-May-13 18:42:16

Every thread about benefits always gets hijacked by the disability lobby trying to top-trump each other over the treatment they have received by the evil government. Not everyone in receipt of benefits is disabled, and your anecdote, however oft repeated does not apply to all benefit claimants.

KittensandKids Mon 13-May-13 18:46:19

Meh meh meh meh meh meh meh.... same crap always!

Lets just hope some people lives never take a change for the worse, or maybe that would be a good thing.

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 18:49:16

hey mrssalvo! head of children's services in my county

Cherriesarered Mon 13-May-13 19:00:42

There are many people who do not claim disability benefits even though they should. Had she called Solihull Council and asked for help she would have got a lot of help in many ways. They are a really good council! It sounds to me like she was a proud person that didn't ask for help! Housing would have offered her a smaller house as all councils are having to do. The problem in Solihull is there certain areas where some people do not wish to go and it is unfair to expect people who have lived in a property to move (likewise, unaffordable to not ask them to move) no easy solutions at all! Poor woman :-(

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 19:03:49

Oh do one.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 19:04:58

The disability lobby is relevant here. This person, this human being was disabled.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 13-May-13 19:17:48

But the disability was not relevant in this case - it was not that she was claiming disability benefits that were stopped - disingenuous to hijack it on that basis. Like most of people, she did not want to move house. Unlike most peple, sadly she also had a mental disposition that led to her choosing to commit suicide. She did not want her kids to feel guilty (tho' did not care who else was affected - lorry driver et al), so blamed 'the government' - easy target. And Jack Dromey - lifelong handbag to his wife, who secured him a safe seat, and undistinguished in any other way, jumped at the chance of a cheap headline.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 19:19:24

Fancy swapping?

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 19:21:13

I think if you were to do a very quick google of her condition you would soon see why it all became too much for her to cope with.

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 19:22:13

so therefore her disability is relevant, claimed or not.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 13-May-13 19:27:16

Poor woman, my heart goes out to her family.
This government will have so much to answer for when all the cuts and changes to welfare actually come in. sad

I think people forget just how pointless it is to move house to somewhere that really isn't suitable and just how low that can make you.

Last July I moved from an unsuitable flat with reasonable transport options to an unsuitable house with no public transport options for me, I can't afford taxis everywhere and I don't drive, this place feels like a prison.

I can completely understand why this woman could have done this with not many other reasons.

My heart goes out to her family though. sad

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 19:51:50

Oh but they won't, morethan. Not whilst there are apologists out there as they are through this thread.

stubbornstains Mon 13-May-13 20:07:36

Some of the comments on this thread have been unbelievably vile.

The people worst affected by the bedroom tax are the most vulnerable- those who have absolutely no way of getting out of their fix, and are at the end of their rope. Single mums who have struggled along with no support doing minimum wage jobs, only to face a final kick in the teeth when their kids grow up and they could expect to see things getting slightly better. The sick and disabled. People for whom there is no easier way out.

Of course the lady in question had underlying issues that made her more vulnerable- if she was well, resilient, with oodles of transferable employment skills and in an area of high employment, she wouldn't have been in that fix in the first place.

And if you're vulnerable, my God, the terror of having your only tiny bit of stability ripped away by the benefit cuts is beyond any doubt enough to push you over the edge.

I'm a single mum on benefits and, even though I'm well educated, healthy and resourceful, and even though I appear to be slowly, painfully clawing my way out of this pit, any time one of the Housing Benefit letters with the green stripy edging drops through the letterbox, my heart starts pounding and I'm in utter panic. God knows what clerical error they could have made which would mean we could lose the roof over our heads. I've spent so many sleepless nights worrying if my business will be making the required amount of money before UC kicks in.

I can completely understand why people are feeling that their only option is suicide.

cory Mon 13-May-13 20:07:48

I would have thought her disability was highly relevant to whether she felt she could cope away from her usual support net.

I don't think people who have not dealt with disability on a day to day basis understand how difficult it makes little every day things, how much you come to depend on other people and on transport you can actually use.

FasterStronger Tue 14-May-13 07:53:48

I agree cory but she killed herself before her family were able to act on their worries for her MH. may be this is due to underfunding in the NHS.

but on the other side I have seen two family members diagnosed with depression & prescribed powerful drugs from one appointment after loved ones have died when many people would have considered it normal grief.

I don't want normal life diagnosed as an illness any more than I want people not to get the help they need. I don't think medical diagnosis is a perfect science and cannot happen immediately.

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