Bedroom tax bullying of Scottish heart attack victim


This video from England is called Anti-Bedroom Tax Protest – Liverpool – March 16th 2013.

By Rory MacKinnon in Scotland:

Exclusive: Heart attack victim left in tears by bedroom tax chase

Monday 01 July 2013

A Kirkcaldy woman told the Star today that she’d been left “in tears” as her council hounded her for bedroom tax arrears while she recovered from a heart attack.

Council tenant Mandy Fairgrieve said she was at her wits’ end over £340 in rent arrears caused by the cut to her housing benefit.

Ms Fairgrieve was at the doctor’s office when the Star called today as she was still recovering from a heart attack late last year.

Her illness did not stop council officers from chasing her for the cash.

“I’m at my wits’ end because of the bedroom tax, they want me to find 25 per cent of my rent out of the blue,” she said.

“I’ve been a council tenant for 40 years and have never owed them a penny in all that time.

“I just broke down in tears after the call.”

Ms Fairgrieve said she had applied to the council for a temporary discretionary housing payment, but was told to sell her television, DVDs and other consumer electronics first.

“They even counted my disability living allowance as part of my income which they’re supposed to ignore.

“The whole system is rotten to the core,” she said.

Kirkcaldy Anti-Bedroom Tax Campaign‘s Louise McLeary said she had heard similar stories of people told to get rid of their dogs, telephones and, in the case of a woman with a severely disabled husband, a car.

Around 6,500 council and housing association tenants in Fife are affected – Ms McLeary said up to one in six had refused to pay.

Fife’s Labour council leader Alex Rowley did not return requests for comment.

An estimated 660,000 households across Britain have been hit by the heartless cash grab if homes are “under-occupied.”

But councils and housing associations have warned they simply have nowhere for tenants to go to, with barely 100,000 one-bedroom properties available across all of Britain.

Meanwhile the fund for discretionary housing payments to help destitute tenants has been increased by just £30 million, a fraction of the policy’s cost.

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