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From: Notebook, 9 February 2016: Brief articles and notes on the Socialist Party website

Search site for keywords: Waltham Forest - Tax - Housing - Bedroom tax - Disabled

Disabled woman harassed for bedroom tax arrears

While google invited to negotiate its level of tax

A press release from Waltham Forest Trade Union Council

"It's so unjust and cruel", says Sandra Sharp who is being threatened with a bill for 3,000 by Places for People Homes Ltd, a housing association.

"People like me get harassed for money while Google sit down and have a nice chat with the taxman about how much they are prepared to pay! Where is the fairness in that?"

When the bedroom tax kicked in Sandra asked to be moved to a place with fewer rooms. She could not afford to pay, and moreover she had become wheelchair-bound and the dimensions of the house were too small. Her wheelchair kept bumping into things, and she could not get upstairs. The housing company continually delayed re-housing Sandra - yet Sandra is now being penalised for their failure to act. Every month they added more arrears onto her bill, now up to 1,744.

To add insult to injury this company is demanding over 1,000 for "damages" because Sandra found it a daily challenge to negotiate her wheelchair around a home designed for an able-bodied mobile family.

Although Sandra is happily re-housed in a flat designed for her needs, she is still suffering the effects of this iniquitous bedroom tax. She is threatened with bailiffs.

However, she is ready, alongside all her many friends, neighbours and trade unionists who are supporting her. "We will resist - whatever it takes," added Linda Taaffe of Waltham Forest Trade Union Council.

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