Bedroom tax: ‘I am struggling trying to survive’

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THE plight of many disabled people across the UK losing out because of the “bedroom tax” was highlighted in the case of Janice Martin, of Coatbridge, who said the changes had made her “suicidal”.

The 50-year-old’s case was raised during Prime Minister’s Questions by her local Labour MP, Tom Clarke, last month when he read out a letter that she had sent him.

She revealed that the tax would leave her with such little money that her quality of life would be deeply affected.

She also told how she had begun to suffer from depression because she was so worried about how the new tax would affect her.

Mrs Martin has osteo­porosis and has had her three-bedroom council house adapted to her needs, but will lose 25 per cent of her housing benefit for having two unoccupied rooms.

This would cost her about £33 a week, or more than £1,700 a year.

In her letter, Mrs Martin described how she needed the extra bedroom for one of her daughters to stay in her home in order to “look after her”.

She said: “I am extremely distressed, and it has affected my health in a tremendously detrimental way. I am unable to sleep and have been suffering from blackouts, which are being investigated at the moment in Monklands Hospital.”

Mrs Marton is wheelchair-dependent, suffers from brittle bones and requires help from two carers in making her meals.

She also needs assistance getting her out of bed, getting to her bathroom, showering, assisti­ng in getting her dressed and also carrying out necessary housework.

She added: “I am struggling greatly just trying to survive. I am in bed each day no later than 3:30pm as I cannot afford to heat my home and eat.

“I have to make a choice on what is more important on a particular day.

“I am suffering from deep depression, and have also contemplated suicide as I cannot see any way that I will be able to survive when this comes into effect.”