Bedroom Tax: Single mother who begged for a smaller house took overdose over £600 bill

Sunday+People

 

Melissa Jones, 31, took sleeping pills to escape her torment over the hated government levy, which the Sunday People is campaigning against.

 

 

 

 

Elaine Jones with daughter Melissa Photo: James Maloney
Elaine Jones with daughter Melissa Photo: James Maloney

 

 

A desperate single mum attempted suicide after the Bedroom Tax left her in debt.

Melissa Jones, 31, took sleeping pills to escape her torment over the hated government levy, which the Sunday People is campaigning against.

She was hit with a £50-a-week charge because she shares a three-bedroomed house with her six-year-old son Ryan.

Melissa frantically tried to downsize to a smaller home but housing bosses were unable to find her a suitable property, saying “demand exceeds supply”.

After running up a debt of £600 she decided to end her life.

Her story echoes that of grandmother Stephanie Bottrill, who killed herself last month and left notes blaming the Bedroom Tax.

Melissa said:

“I just couldn’t take it any more. And I thought at least if I was gone my mum could look after Ryan.

“I have been looking for houses but they were saying there were none.”

She spent months searching the Liverpool area for somewhere suitable. Melissa had even looked at private renting but could not afford the deposit.

Her mum Elaine, 53, said:

“She’d been saying for a while that she couldn’t cope with it. She told me, ‘This Bedroom Tax is driving me mad.’ It’s disgusting.”

Some 660,000 social housing tenants are being hit by the tax, introduced on April 1.

Many are already in arrears as the charge sees an average benefit cut of £14 for those with one extra room and £25 for more. Up to 16,000 of them live in Merseyside, where housing bosses say their tenants are suffering.

Alan Rogers, boss of Cobalt Housing, the association that looks after Melissa’s property, said no action would be taken over her arrears. It will also help her find a new home. And he called on the Government to urgently reconsider the tax. Mr Rogers said:

“The Bedroom Tax is putting many of our customers under terrible pressure. We have dedicated staff offering practical help. We believe the Bedroom Tax is deeply unfair and we urge the Government to think again.”

Stephen Twigg, MP for West Derby in Liverpool, said: “Melissa’s case reminds us how unjust and cruel the Bedroom Tax is.”

If you feel desperate about the tax, contact the Samaritans on 08457 909090 or www.samaritans.org

The Sunday People

 

Comments
  • Mary Jackson June 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    This government is evil, No doubt about that, but Stephen Twigg saying how cruel and unjust it is , is simply Laughable, While Labour will not promise to repeal this unfair tax, it is simply talk from Stephen Twigg, So come on Labour make it clear that when/if you win the next election, you will repeal it

  • Mary Jackson June 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Good for you, Lee Vicky, If more people refused to pay it, Then the government would have to back down, After all they can’t put everyone in prison as the prison’s are full, So come on people fight back,

  • Mary Jackson June 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Good idea, Let’s Email Ed Milliband while we’re at it, If they see this will cost them votes, Then maybe they will promise to repeal it,

  • Gbarbm June 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    This is just disgusting! I am lucky, I own my own home so am not affected by this awful tax/levy (yet) however, I really feel for the people who are.
    Is there no way that individuals can take this government to court for harassment? If you read the protection from harassment act the actions of this government fall squarely into the criteria for civil action. Surely there must be a kind hearted barrister or solicitor who would be prepared to take on these cases?
    Because I think if enough people took civil actions against this government for harassment then the ConDems would have to take notice and bloody do something about it.

  • moyra June 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    that’s what’s needed, lee vicky. just like the poll tax, if enough people refuse to pay, they’ll have to take notice.

  • Pam June 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    If you own your own home but need housing benefit, council tax for instance, or help with your mortgage, does the same bedroom tax rules apply regarding the number of bedrooms?

  • David Moynagh June 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    The bedroom tax is no more than class hatred from a bunch of tory bums who will by their deeds have the tory party thrown in the dustbin when election time arrives. They enjoy creating despair and anguish amongst the weakest in society. Typical cowardly and nazi like. Lets all of us give them some of their own medicine by insulting them and harassing any tory we come across. Fill the local and national newspapers with your anti tory feelings and keep doing it. That will beat them.

  • Ania June 11, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I have always said

    BEDROOM TAX – CAN’T PAY, WON’T PAY

    People have to stop being scared about the arrears. It takes something like a year an half just to rack up 2 months rent. Also there is a longish process for that landlord has to go though before they can evict you.

    DO THE RESEARCH – find out for yourself!

  • PAULA June 17, 2013 at 4:15 am

    THE ONLY GOOD POLITICIAN IS ONE HANGING FROM THE TOWER OF LONDON, BUT I WOULDN’T INSULT A ROPE, BUT THE BASTARDS ON THAT SLOPE THAT FILLS UP WITH THE THAMES TIDE AND LET THE BASTARDS SUFFER AN AGONIZING DEATH, LIKE THEY ARE DOING TO THE VULNERABLE IN OUR SOCIETY!

  • pat June 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    im thinking of ending it too..i cant keep up and i don’t want to lose my home,,so id rather not be around to see it taken from me..thanks david cameron n co..u nasty heartless nazi bastards

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in
%d bloggers like this: