#BedroomTax : #Disabled mum-of-two Lorraine set to become first person in Scotland to be kicked out of their home

Daily Record Lion



THE 46-year-old who suffers from scoliosis and arthritis has had court action taken against her to force her to leave her flat.

Lorraine Fraser from Uddingston could be facing eviction Alasdair MacLeod/Daily Record
Lorraine Fraser from Uddingston could be facing eviction
Alasdair MacLeod/Daily Record


A SEVERELY disabled single mum is to become the first council tenant in Scotland to be evicted because of the bedroom tax.

Lorraine Fraser is being kicked on to the street after her Labour-run council took court action to force her out her specially adapted flat.

She has scoliosis – curvature of the spine – and arthritis and she is wheelchair-bound.

The council moved Lorraine into a specially adapted flat with a wheelchair ramp, wet room and handrails two years ago.

Now they want to turf her out for failing to pay just £248 in bedroom tax arrears.

Lorraine, 46, said:

“Where will I go? I need a specially adapted home just to survive.

“What kind of people would throw a disabled woman and her kids out on the street?

“They have no compassion or conscience.”

North Lanarkshire Council have sent Lorraine a series of hard-hitting letters, warning her that eviction proceedings are under way.

The latest letter, dated August 8, states:

“I can advise you that North Lanarkshire Council has commenced court action to evict you from your home.”

She has also been told she faces paying for the authority’s “considerable” legal costs.

Lorraine receives disability living allowance. And even before the bedroom tax, she struggled to pay her bills and feed her family.


Lorraine's adapted bathroom Alasdair MacLeod/Daily Record
Lorraine’s adapted bathroom
Alasdair MacLeod/Daily Record

When the hated tax was introduced in April, she was told she would have to pay an extra £62 in rent every month.

She was informed she was being targeted because she has two spare rooms.

But Lorraine is baffled because she shares her three-bedroom flat with her daughter Collette, 19, and son Mark, 17.

They are both students who live at home, although they also spend time living with their dad, who is divorced from Lorraine.

Lorraine thought she still had a month left to fight her case because she was told in a letter that legal proceedings to evict her wouldn’t begin until September 2.

But she was devastated when the council’s letter on August 8 said they had already started court action.

Council housing officers visited her at her home in Uddingston, near Glasgow, yesterday to go through the eviction process.

Lorraine said:

“I can’t believe I am going to be thrown on the street.

“My condition is getting worse every day. This has caused me so much stress and anxiety it’s making me really ill.

“I feel at the end of my tether. I have tried to explain to them that my children still live here.

“My son sometimes stays at his dad’s house because we are divorced but this is still his home.

“I feel angry, upset and totally helpless.

“I thought I still had a month to sort this mess out but then I got a letter to say they had already started the legal process.

“I feel like my life is falling apart. I have been in this house for two years and it was the council who put me here because they knew I needed a specially adapted home for my disability.

“Now they want to throw me out on the street like a piece of old rubbish.

“They are targeting the most vulnerable in our community.

“It’s a disgrace they are allowed to get away with it.”

North Lanarkshire Council are one of the few local authorities in Scotland who have refused to adopt a no-evictions policy.

In April, First Minister Alex Salmond pledged that no SNP-run council would throw out tenants who had fallen into arrears because of the bedroom tax.

North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim McCabe called the bedroom tax “the single worst piece of legislation I have ever seen”.

But that hasn’t stopped the authority from starting eviction action against their tenants.

Lorraine called on the All Scotland Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation and Glasgow lawyer Gordon Dangerfield to help save her from eviction.


North Lanarkshire housing officers arrive at Lorraine's flat Daily Record
North Lanarkshire housing officers arrive at Lorraine’s flat
Daily Record


Federation chairman Tommy Sheridan said:

“North Lanarkshire Council’s treatment of a disabled bedroom tax victim is shocking and shameful.

“How do these councillors and highly paid council officials sleep at night? They should be ashamed of themselves.

“They told this disabled bedroom tax victim she had until September 2 to find the money or else.

“Then they started eviction proceedings anyway. They know this woman is on the breadline yet they have harassed her.”

A North Lanarkshire Council spokesman said: “We have offered every tenant potentially affected by the bedroom tax an opportunity to have a visit or advice by phone.

“The tenant in question has consistently refused to fully engage with us and has repeatedly refused to apply for a discretionary housing payment which may help to alleviate her situation.

“We are committed to helping all tenants hit by this UK Government legislation.”

Lorraine reacted with anger to the council’s claims that she refused to cooperate with them.

She said:

“It is an outright lie. I have tried to convince them that I am not eligible for the bedroom tax but they are not interested.”

The Scottish Daily Record

Chris Smith

7:45 AM on 22/8/2013

A Labour Council, Labour mind you, scuttling around North Lanarkshire serving eviction notices on it’s own tenants.

No Pasar


Labour-run North Lanarkshire is Scotland’s biggest council housing landlord, and 6,038 people there are affected by the Bedroom Tax.

The council’s leader Jim McCabe has vocally opposed the cut, calling it “the single worst piece of legislation I have ever seen”.

Yet while many councils across the country have said they will do everything they can to avoid evicting people who cannot afford the Bedroom Tax, North Lanarkshire say they are not adopting a “no evictions” policy until they have studied the impact of reforms.



Councillor James McCabe (Leader of The Council)
Ward: Thorniewood – 13(13)
Party: Scottish Labour Party
Elected From: 01/04/1996
Contact Details
Address: 4 Easterwood Crescent
G71 5NX
Phone: 01698 815330
Fax: 01698 302462
E-Mail: mccabej@northlan.gov.uk


34 thoughts on “#BedroomTax : #Disabled mum-of-two Lorraine set to become first person in Scotland to be kicked out of their home

  1. JudeB says:

    Does anyone know the email address of the leader of this Council? I would like to put it on Facebook so that anyone who feels for this poor woman can write to the B**ST*RDS responsible for the situation she’s in, and tell them how they feel.

    Having recently experienced the stress caused by being put in the Work Related Activity Group by this government’s DWP, when I should, and now, on appeal, have been, placed in the ‘Support Group’, I wouldn’t be surprised if this poor lady were to take her own life.


    1. JJ says:

      More information:

      Labour-run North Lanarkshire is Scotland’s biggest council housing landlord, and 6,038 people there are affected by the Bedroom Tax.

      The council’s leader Jim McCabe has vocally opposed the cut, calling it “the single worst piece of legislation I have ever seen”.

      Yet while many councils across the country have said they will do everything they can to avoid evicting people who cannot afford the Bedroom Tax, North Lanarkshire say they are not adopting a “no evictions” policy until they have studied the impact of reforms.


      Councillor James McCabe (Leader of The Council)
      Ward: Thorniewood – 13(13)
      Party: Scottish Labour Party
      Elected From: 01/04/1996
      Contact Details
      Address: 4 Easterwood Crescent
      G71 5NX
      Phone: 01698 815330
      Fax: 01698 302462
      E-Mail: mccabej@northlan.gov.uk

      1. JudeB says:

        Thanks for the information JJ.

        I appreciate the the leader of the council has made the comment you referred to, but surely he is in a position to put a STOP to this eviction? We HAVE to do something to help this lady and others like her BEFORE it’s too late!

  2. Fi says:

    She shouldn’t have been hit with the bedroom tax in the first place as her daughter Collette, 19, and son Mark, 17 lives with her in the 3 bed flat…so no need to apply for discretionary payments

  3. Hayley Matthews says:

    If the Council Officers who are ‘helping’ her know that she is eligible for a Discretionary Payment, then they should be arriving with the forms for it so that she can sign for it and actioning the payment, not arriving with eviction letters.

    Are they going to know fork out however much it will cost to adapt another flat? Where is the sense in this financially, never mind morally that they’d pay x amount in court fees and another disability adaption rather than action a £268 discretionary payment and sort out her HB?

    She needs a Vulnerable Adult Social Worker to fight her case for her. Utterly shameful that that should be so.

  4. Helen says:

    Because the bedroom tax should not apply to her (if taken at the letter of the law). All her rooms are being used, she does not have a ‘spare bedroom’. The council have made a significant error. She should be offered compensation.



    Words fail me. i don’t think there is a category that exists that would best describe this vile act…….

    From the government front benches, down to the North Lanarkshire Housing Officials, every one should hide their faces in shame.

    People should take to the streets and drive these “faceless yellow bastards”, away from where decent people live.

    While Cameron is enjoying his fourth holiday, a disabled lady is getting kicked out of her home and pushed onto the streets…………….

    People often refer to a NAZI regime, this is much worse and much more sinister in its concept.

    We are supposed to have learned from our past about the atrocities that man has done to man?
    Propaganda by the septic tank DWP, with its gestapo style rules have seen this country turn on its most vulnerable.
    We are witnessing ethnic cleansing made possible by ill thought out welfare reforms.

    William Hague is dying to intervene in the Syrian conflict, describing the cause as defeating a crackpot dictator who is taking human lives to sustain his aims…….
    Whats the bloody difference? Our government are doing the same.

    Ask the electorate who wants to enter into a war that is nothing to do with us. The majority will say stay well away!

    One thing is certain, the public schoolboys are way out of touch with the general public.

    If i could pay into a fund to raise money to assassinate the very people who victimise us, i would.

    They do not belong on this earth……………….

    1. JudeB says:

      I couldn’t agree more Geoff, but while you think about the best way to organise the fund, may I suggest contacting the leader of the council in this article and telling him that you EXPECT him to take a stand against this and STOP them from going ahead with the eviction of this poor woman?

      Good luck with the fund raising

  6. Val Callen says:

    I hope it does go to court… and the court rules the council is acting illegally and thus gets a precedent for future councils to think about before making court applications. Councils have a duty to protect vunerable folk… they must rely on stronger previous legislation and ignore Tory policy and ill thought out legislation which, is Gerrymandering and totally illegal. See Dame Shirley Porter… for ref.

  7. Frances Pawley says:

    Throw her out of the house and cause a National outcry. I had to watch as my son (who was dying of a brain tumour) had to ‘reside’ in the tiny dining room of their house. They had a two bedroom place and three children. I suppose you would have thrown him out too. Thank goodness he died before you got the chance.

  8. Frances Pawley says:

    It is disgusting, I agree with you. People who march into this country get better thought of than people who have paid all their lives into the pot. Isn’t life bad enough for this poor lady without all this worry?

  9. Samuel Miller says:

    Subject: Disabled mum-of-two Lorraine Fraser set to become first person in Scotland to be kicked out of their home

    12:25 PM (0 minutes ago)

    Councillor James McCabe (Leader of The Council)
    Address: 4 Easterwood Crescent
    G71 5NX
    E-Mail: mccabej@northlan.gov.uk

    I am a 56-year-old Disability Studies specialist and disability activist from Montreal, Canada who has been reporting frequently and voluntarily, since January 2012, to senior United Nations officials on the crisis for the United Kingdom’s sick and disabled. Austerity measures, consisting of draconian welfare reforms and “sham” means-testing (Atos Healthcare U.K. and the Department for Work and Pensions) are ostensibly to blame for their plight—with disability hate crime and inflammatory media attacks factored into this mix.

    I am writing in regard to Lorraine Fraser, and wish to inform you that I have alerted the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to her plight. I have received the following response from Jorge Araya, UNCRPD Secretary: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rm21j3, and I am prepared to file a UNCRPD complaint on her behalf if indeed she is evicted.

    The following is an excerpt from a July 16, 2013 letter that I wrote to several UN officials:

    One third of councils are having to deny help to disabled people in Britain because the provision of the discretionary housing payment (DHP) fund is insufficient. (The local authorities report their DHP expenditures to the Department for Work and Pensions at the end of each financial year.) I have written Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on two occasions requesting that the government exempt from eviction disabled people living in specially adapted properties. I continue to come across news stories of disabled people, living in specially adapted properties, who were either being refused Discretionary Housing Payments or under the threat of eviction. (This has been corroborated by research from UK disability campaigners ‘We are Spartacus’).

    Samuel Miller
    E-Mail: disabilityinliterature@gmail.com
    Blog: Hephaestus: Disability Studies
    Blog: My Disability Studies Blackboard
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Hephaestus7
    (Montreal, Canada)

    1. JudeB says:

      All I can say Samuel is thank God we have people like you on our side! Thank you on behalf of all disabled people for your efforts and support of our plight.

  10. donna says:

    I can understand she is standing her ground re: not having spare rooms because her children still live there, but in the meantime, she should have applied for a discretionary housing payment to keep her ticking over while she appeals the bedroom tax. I’m sure she would have been accepted for this considering her circumstances. Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride. I was affected by another cut in housing benefit for under 35’s. I applied for a DHP and have been receiving this since 2012. It’s literally saved my life. I don’t know where I’d be now without it, probably dead.

  11. PAULA says:


  12. batfinkim says:

    She is appealing the decision as she has her two children staying with her. To apply to the fund would be to concede that she should pay the tax.

  13. Richard says:

    “but I have to ask why has she ‘refused to apply for discretionary payments.” – Nope. You only have to ask whether homelessness is a suitable punishment.

    And just get a load of the arrogant response from the council. “The tenant in question has consistently refused to fully engage with us.” Lorraine says that’s rubbish. But even if it was true, what of it? Refusing to fully engage with folk who are out to get you is often a good plan. Why should officials have the right to throw onto the streets anyone who doesn’t talk to them in exactly the way they’d like?

  14. duncan a. smith says:

    Keir Hardie must be spinning in his grave at the sight of what his party has turned into – a lapdog, toothless version of the Tory party. So much for being the party for the worker and less affluent in society. It’s no wonder that their rose leans to the right – suits their political stance down to the ground!!

  15. Humanity2012 says:

    Shame on North Lanarkshire Council

    Sackings are in Order

    Evict Out of Touch Bureaucrats and Politiciand from Office
    Not the Disabled Poor

    Nazi Britain go to Hell

  16. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Yesterday i received a plea from the 38 DEGREES website………..

    Apparently, government officials are trying to get rid of on-line websites that utilise the voice of the people to try and change government policy.
    38 DEGREES actively promote people power by the use of of direct petitioning.
    The organisation has had lots of successful campaigns which have forced government to do changes to ill thought out policies.
    Their remit has been far and wide and includes issues amounting from the NHS reforms.

    It is crucial that these organisations exist because they are the backbone of true democracy.

    Under the guise of anti-lobbying legislation, the powers that be, are hellbent on trying to silence the voice of the people.

    They control the media and now they want to control the internet……..

    This is the email they sent to me;

    38 Degrees is facing its biggest ever threat.

    The government’s rushing through a new law which, if it passes, will stop us running the type of campaigns which have made us who we are. [1] The campaigns which have saved our forests, fought privatisation in the NHS, and defeated the snoopers’ charter. [2] The campaigns which have seen 1.7 million of us act together, locally and nationally, for over four years. In fact, if the new law passes, and we continue campaigning as we do now, the office team could even risk being sent to jail. [3]

    The law’s called the ‘Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill’. And if it goes through without any changes, it’ll wipe out our campaigning by slashing what we can spend during the year before elections. Not just general elections, either. Local elections, European elections and referendums, too. [4]

    But if we act now and we act together, we could make the government reverse their plan. Chloe Smith, the minister responsible for pushing this law through parliament, is coming under more and more pressure to re-think. If hundreds of thousands of us speak up now, we could swing her decision.

    Can you email Chloe Smith now to tell her why it’s important that we’re able to campaign during elections, and what you think of her plans to stifle us? There’s no template email, because it’s really important that Chloe Smith hears your personal reasons for being a member of 38 Degrees. Anything you write to her now is better than her not hearing from us at all.

    Click here to get started:


    This is the thin end of the wedge, imagine what power the government would wield if they could close sites like ” BLACK TRIANGLE”, down.
    No dissent from the people is the first step towards a fascist state.
    Strangely we choose to highlight China’s freedom of information controls and the way it controls the internet and media.

    We are following this trend very closely. Already we are seeing hidden courts, hidden inquiries, classified material and evesdropping by GCHQ Cheltenham on private phone information and computer logging……………
    Where will it all stop?
    Your rights to challenge the laws have been taken away piece by piece. The overall picture is becoming alarming. What happened to appeal rights and legal aid?………….
    Your voice is the mainstay of what happens in our nation.
    Politicians are no longer representative of the views of the electorate, this disappeared many moons ago as the multinationals and banks poisoned the chalice of right and wrong.
    We have to act fast and form a resistance to the onslaught of corporate greed as it engulfs its victims like no other time in history…………………………

  17. Mad Cat Lady says:

    This is beyond belief. The council must have spent a considerable amount of money adapting the flat in the first place. She has 2 young adults living with her who need separate bedrooms. Yet she is being hounded out. Are they devoid of intelligence and common sense these council ‘jobs worths’? Let’s hope if this does go to court (I’m hoping here that someone sees sense before it gets that far) the judge takes this poor woman’s side and throws the whole thing out of court! This is immoral and unjust and why, oh why, hasn’t the National Press and TV picked up this story? Ah yes, we all know why, because they’re all in the Government’s back pocket, much preferring to report on dogs riding skate boards and other inane stories! Shameful!!!!

  18. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    PAUL MALPAS made several freedom of information requests to the DWP.

    On one of his requests, he asked if a GP could issue a “STATEMENT OF FITNESS FOR WORK”.

    This is the DWP’s response;

    In the decision dated 2 July 2013 (ref VTR2728/13), it was confirmed that General
    Practitioners are not trained to make an assessment on a person’s capability for work
    according to legislation.

    Furthermore the DWP state;

    In the decision dated 2 July 2013 (ref VTR2728/13) it was confirmed that GPs are able to
    provide “simple fitness for work advice to aid their patient’s recovery and help them return to

    I am making reference to this because when the DWP stopped my Incapacity benefit due to a biased ATOS examination, i was informed that to carry on getting payments i had to tender a statement of fitness for work from my GP.

    Twice i have cited the freedom of information reply and they are choosing to ignore it………..

    I think the DWP are deliberately trying to keep the issue under wraps. Ask yourself why they choose to ignore their own documentation?

    Something sinister is being played out………


  19. Julie Hutchinson says:

    I asked the DWP why they keep telling claimants that they can’t appeal ceratain sanctions.

    You can appeal any sanction that they impose, it is up to the judge at a tribunal, to say if an appeal is not to be recognised, not the DWP.

    Appeal every decision they throw at you, its your right under legislation.

  20. JEFFREY says:

    council houses were built with public money an rent should not be charged as we bought them with our taxes.
    one way to get over this is for councils to charge maintanance charges in lu of rent like town alms houses.

    jeff .. alms house tenant ..

    JJ this might be a soulution..

  21. mars bilters says:

    Lanarkshire Bedroom Tax Bullies

    This evil Under Occupancy Penalty couldna get much crazier
    Look at the harassment of brave disabled mum Lorraine Fraser
    Do North Lanarkshire Council have a heart as cold as a glacier?
    Those wee council meanies wanna implement a house seizure
    Never mind Lorraine’s children, her illness, the arthritis or scoliosis
    Lorraine doesn’t have life easy, it’s not a bed of bloomin’ roses
    Taking her to court for arrears of £248 is institutional psychosis
    That’s not even a month’s rent, now she’s got to pay court cost
    A decision that makes Lorraine poorer, a decision akin to frost
    No compassion or conscience, they care not if her home is lost
    Her home n sanctuary, specially adapted so Lorraine can survive
    Lorraine’s a brave ‘un, she’ll fight so her home they canna deprive
    Her kids Colette and Mark sleep in these rooms, they aint spare!
    Does Lanarkshire Council consider their plight? Do they even care?
    They have become Manicshire Council with their manic harassment
    Lorraine and family are facing eviction for less than a month’s rent
    Lorraine is getting worse, every day she’s ill, she doesn’t need stress
    She’s fighting the bullies who want to make a disabled lady homeless
    Yes the single worst piece of legislation Jim McCabe has ever seen
    Targeting the most vulnerable in society, is dishonourable and mean
    Let Lorraine live happily in her home, the council should leave her alone
    End this evil and unjust Bedroom Tax, into the bin it should be thrown!

  22. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:


    United Nations fly in special investigator to probe whether hated bedroom tax has broken human rights laws
    5 Sep 2013 07:20

    UNITED Nations Special Rapporteur Raquel Rolnik will be looking at whether or not the tax breaks Article 25 of the human rights law.
    Envoy Rolnik will investigate Cameron’s tax Envoy Rolnik will investigate Cameron’s tax
    Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

    A UNITED Nations investigator has flown to Scotland to find out if the Con-Dems’ hated bedroom tax has broken human rights laws.

    Special envoy Raquel Rolnik will look into whether David Cameron’s Government are flouting Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by penalising poor families for the size of their homes.

    The Con-Dems claim they invited her, but the UN’s involvement is a major embarrassment for them.

    Thousands of vulnerable Scots fear eviction because they can’t afford the
    bedroom tax.

    The Record is campaigning to scrap the tax and has documented the despair of poor families facing hardship.

    Rolnik is meeting tenants in Glasgow and Edinburgh. She also wants to talk to Holyrood housing minister Margaret Burgess, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, civic leaders and academics at Glasgow University.

    The Brazilian architect and urban planner is UN Special Rapporteur on housing and one of the world’s leading experts in the field.

    She strongly condemned the Israeli government in a scathing report last year, accusing them of presiding over a system biased in favour of Jewish settlers where Palestinians had no housing rights.

    Rolnik meets Palestinian family who lost home to settlers Rolnik meets Palestinian family who lost home to settlers
    Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

    Rolnik said the UK faced a unique moment, when the challenge of providing proper housing for all was on the agenda.

    Her comments are being seen as a direct reference to the bedroom tax.

    Article 25 says housing is part of “the right to a standard of living adequate for health and wellbeing”.

    Rolnik said: “The UK has voiced its commitment to human rights on repeated occasions.

    “This mission will give me an opportunity to assess in-depth to what extent adequate housing, as one central aspect of the right to an adequate standard of living, is at the core of this commitment.”

    The Con-Dems imposed the bedroom tax on poor families in April this year. As a result, thousands of Scots have had their housing benefit cut by between 14 and 25 per cent.

    Councils are already reporting increased rent arrears as a result.

    The Con-Dems say the move will save £1billion by 2015. Critics insist it will increase the welfare bill by forcing social housing tenants into more expensive private rented homes.

    They also point out that there are no smaller homes in the social housing sector for most bedroom tax victims to move into.

    SNP MSP Christina McKelvie welcomed the UN’s examination of the “utterly inhumane and unjustifiable” tax.

    She added: “It penalises disabled and economically deprived people for where they live when smaller alternatives are simply not available.”

    But Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran said: “Raquel Rolnik also needs to look at what the Scottish Government could be doing to help people out.

    “While David Cameron is responsible for the bedroom tax, Alex Salmond is refusing to act to make life any better for people who are hit.”

    Because of diplomatic formalities, Rolnik’s visit is technically at the behest of the UK Government. A member state needs to formally invite the UN in before an inspection.

    She will spend two weeks in Britain, visiting London, Belfast and Manchester as well as Scotland, and will reveal her initial findings next week.

  23. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    The condems say it is they, who invited this UN inspector.

    Am i mad in thinking this is a preposterous statement?

    Why would anybody “invite” an inspection of the effects of an ill thought out policy that penalises the poorest and disabled in society, given that it was them who introduced it?

    Are they really trying to justify that the dreaded bedroom tax is acceptable in society by inviting a foreigner to judge it after it has been implemented, or is it a crude attempt to hide the ramifications of the horrors they have perpetrated?

    Only time will tell…………………………..

    I would like to think that the inspector is visiting housing tenants in several areas, of her own volition, and not been taken on a government guided, “coached arena”,
    that tries to mask the true poverty in Britain today.

    If the lady is given the right to go where she pleases, she will come to understand the vile consequences of the ethnic cleansing that is hidden in the agenda of welfare reforms……

    Bearing witness to the squalor, deprivation and stress inflicted on the least able to put up a fight.

    The true extent of poverty in our land may hopefully be brandished across worldwide media for all to see,,,,,,,,

    Meanwhile, i wait with baited breath, acknowledging the extent of the billions of pound cover up that is now underway…..

  24. geoff reynolds says:


    By Dailyrecord.co.uk

    Grieving mum who lost nine-year-old son in house fire is hit with Bedroom Tax bill for her tragic boy’s old room
    19 Sep 2013 00:01

    DEVASTATED Sheree McGill faces having to move out of family home because callous Con-Dem rules mean her house is now under-occupied.
    Tragic nine-year-old Evan died in 2010 Tragic nine-year-old Evan died in 2010

    A GRIEVING mother has been hit by the bedroom tax – after her son died in a house fire.

    Sheree McGill, 36, has been told she will have to pay the hated charge because nine-year-old Evan’s tragic death has left her house “under-occupied”.

    Evan was killed when a blaze swept through his family’s home two days after Christmas in 2011.

    Single mum Sheree and her four surviving children only returned to the house in Kilmarnock in February, after East Ayrshire Council paid to have it renovated.

    In a bitter irony, she wrestled long and hard with whether to return to the place where she lost her beloved young son

    But now she faces having to move her family again after officials at the Department for Work and Pensions have cut her housing benefit – because Evan is no longer alive to use his room.

    Yesterday, tearful Sheree said: “I can’t believe this is happening.

    “It’s not our fault that Evan died.

    “It’s unbelievable that they wouldn’t take our circumstances into account.”

    Sheree lives in the four-bedroom house with her children Talia, 16, Zac, seven, Yasmin, six, and five-year-old Nya.

    But the devastated mum has been told new under-occupancy rules don’t allow her current living arrangements and her housing benefits will be cut by 25 per cent, leaving her with a shortfall of £16.60 a week.

    She now faces having to find the missing money to pay her landlords at East Ayrshire Council or moving out.

    Talia and Zac have their own rooms while Yasmin and Nya share one.

    But under bedroom tax rules, Zac – who lives in the room he used to share with his big brother Evan – is too young to have his own room.

    Sheree said: “If Evan was still here, Zac would love to share with him again. But sadly he isn’t.

    “The council were so good putting us back in here and now, no matter what I do, I’m told I have to pay because I have a seven-year-old in a room alone.

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