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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.

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

Madamecastafiore Sun 12-May-13 14:00:50

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.

Madamecastafiore Sun 12-May-13 14:45:39

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.

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