Thursday, 4 April 2013
Thank you for the break up of my family, for the bedroom tax and the insults.
I am a born and bred British female who works and lives in England.
Since 1994 due to the break down of my long term relationship, l have raised my 4 children, single handedly....and yes l was on benefits in social housing. But l did work, voluntarily, then part time. And l was totally aware of the lone parent stigma that went with this position.
As my children grew, l worked some more, until such time as the eldest 2 left home, pursued their own lives and worked full time.
I came off benefits, became financially independent, paid full rent and council tax by working 40+ hours a week.
I had a breakdown, child no. 3 worked full time and left home. So for financial gain and to cure my empty nest syndrome, l did the sensible thing and downsized my home.
My youngest daughter, the family pets and l moved to a tiny 2 bed housing association house. Still l worked full time, paid full rent etc.. Youngest daughter left school, attended college, then worked full time. We were financially independent and paying our way in society.
Then due to mental and physical difficulties l decided to cut my employment hours down to just 24 hours a week, in order to have a better work life balance and live a relatively frugal life. We have no car, no credit cards, no large flat screen TV and no fancy sun baked holidays.
However......things / life went wrong.....
Child no. 3 fell into difficulties and came "home", albeit lodging in the living room, of our tiny 5 roomed house.
We were 3 adult women all working full time jobs, paying our way, living our lives with the family pets... 3 cats and a "staffy" dog.
Youngest daughter/ child no. 4 fell pregnant despite precautions and her relationship broke down. We opted as a "family" to stay together in order to support one another, still all work and help raise the baby as the 'father' refused anything to do with 'it'.
We sought help from the housing officer requesting a move back to a bigger property. He said child no. 3 earned to much and could live alone privately. And he would re-house youngest daughter before the birth of the baby so she could live without any support on benefits.!!!
Fast track to the here and now, child 3 is living in a privately rented property, but struggles to buy enough food and heating, despite working 40 hours + a week. Daughter no. 4 with baby are still in our tiny house with me but needs re-housing urgently as she can no longer pay her way. She needs to be in her own property in order that she can "live off the system" until she is able to return to work after raising her child.
This will leave me at 52 with a dilemma. I will need to claim housing benefit and council tax support as my total income is only £590 per month so would need help to "exist".
If l downsize to a 1 bed over 50's flat, l will probably have to get rid of the family pets. If l stay l will be penalised for having an empty bedroom despite having 4 Grandchildren and elderly Mother who like to visit. Some of the properties available to "bid" on, the requirements state "asbo and drug free for 2 years" with a "Local Letting Plan" which l believe means ..due for knocking down in the future!!
My boss wont re-increase my hours, l can not afford to visit my elderly mother in the neighbouring county, l can not treat my grandchildren,l can not afford to socialise. I don't qualify for any help as l no longer have dependent children. I do not want to leave my secure long term employment as l have been there 11 years. And l can retire in just 13 years time.
I am not suicidal - but what is the point of my life if l can not live it?
No money, no long term secure home of my choice and the final kick a family history of Alzheimer's.
So Government THANK YOU for my long term, non secure penniless, homeless, family less, pet less future........you've played a blinder.