I’m writing to you today as just an ordinary member of the public who works extremely hard & who has lived in Social Housing for 25 years. In that time I have paid almost twice over the value of the property in rent & I have never shirked my responsibility, with regards to keeping my home in good order.
I am not a Scrounger or Skiver as some of you who should know better have labelled me (purely because I live in Social Housing & I had a period of full benefits in 2011 after a redundancy, of 3 months).
I am not a Lying thief, I do not “cheat a system” to enable me to work, BUT I do get £20 a week towards the cost of my rent (which is170pw) purely due to lack of income & decreased work (due to ill health I work part-time as I have many hospital appointments / procedures – BUT I DO NOT CLAIM DISABILITY BENEFITS –I WORK).
I didn’t ask to be ill, I didn’t ask to be looking after 3 children by myself, after a marriage broke down after 12 years, I didn’t ask for food costs & petrol to increase or heating to cost so much I can’t afford it – I could go on….
I have in fact been gainfully employed full time in numerous positions for numerous companies ever since I left school at 18yrs old (I went on to study but left to work, as I knew that’s what I wanted to do) and during all that time I paid my taxes and NI like everyone else.
What angers me is that ever since the Banking Crisis you in Government have been looking for someone to blame for the mess, but instead of directing your attention at the ones who caused the problems, IE the Bankers and the Get-Rich Quick City-Boys and profit hungry Buy to let landlords you turned your attentions to the ones least able to defend themselves. The Sick, The Disabled, those on JSA, Incapacity Benefit, and DLA.
You have Systematically Cynically and callously forced through Parliament changes to every avenue of Welfare you can think of while turning a blind eye to Corporate Corruption, Tax Dodging, Tax Evasion and any other nefarious trick the Rich Elite could think of to keep your hands off their wealth.
One way, a particularly narrow minded ill thought out way of making some cuts was achieved by employing Lord Freud to conjure up the Under-Occupancy Charge, aka The Infamous Bedroom Tax. Lord Freud and many others in Parliament have massive homes, sometimes two homes that are never fully occupied, yet you didn’t go after him or them or their rich influential friends who own mansions but who no doubt donate massively to the party Coffers.
No. You deliberately choose to target the poorest in society, those who can’t afford to pay their rent because they are out of work due to illness or lack of opportunities, or those who do work but who’s wages are too low and so they need help through Housing Benefits.
You didn’t stop beforehand to consider that there just aren’t enough smaller properties to downsize to even if people were willing to move. You didn’t stop to consider what any of this would do to families or communities. You don’t care or think about the disabled person needing a room of their own while their partner and carer sleeps in the next room out of necessity and not choice. You
don’t care about the Mother/Father who only gets to see their kids of a weekend or holidays and who need somewhere for them to sleep, or the Mother/Father whose son/daughter is away fighting an immoral war, or the son/daughter away studying at University etc. You don’t even bat an eyelid at the prospect of thousands of people getting evicted because they can’t pay the immoral charge levied on them.
All you lot care about is reducing the Housing Benefit Bill.
Oh you wrap it up all in a neat package and sell it to the media that it’s because there are so many other families living in overcrowded conditions while there is someone two doors away with a spare bedroom. What you don’t explain to the media is it’s virtually always been that way. More so since in the 80’s it was decided to allow so much Social Housing stock to be sold off without a thought for the babies being born in those decades & their future need/want to work hard & have a stable home of their own, from which to ground themselves. What you also don’t tell is where the money went from those sales because it certainly hasn’t go into building more Social housing, You know, the sort where we pay the rent & it gets recycled through the economy – NOT the sort you are investing our taxes in – Buy to Lets for rich landlords, those who get the actual benefits you are harping on about & poke the profits away in non-tax-paying countries (where, let’s be honest a vast majority of these property magnates live)…
All you will have achieved financially with this is to ruin the lives of thousands of people. Your heartless actions will make sick people sicker as they worry where the money is coming from. They will have to choose to eat or heat or pay other bills, or if they don’t pay the charge they face the prospect of eventually get evicted. What will that solve?
Personally, I am now in arrears – for the first time EVER – I have 2 adult children living with me, the sort who want to work hard (They get this ethic from their mum – NOT YOU) & the sort who will NEVER have a home of their own now – (THAT MY FRIEND YOU CAN TAKE CREDIT FOR).
I ask you – as a Normal, hard-working, proud woman.. Re-think what you are doing… It’s not just me & my daughters – We will survive I WONT LET THEM DOWN, I will work myself to death if I have to, to ensure they are safe & housed… BUT it’s the others, the sick, the disabled – The honest people who are suffering – Bedroom Tax is a farce… No one chooses to under occupy – There are No smaller properties, The Government has seen to this with the stopping of Social housing building….
It used to be “An Englishman’s home was his castle” Now it feels like “An Englishman’s home can be his cold, coffin”.
Shame on you if you don’t act NOW