Saturday, 16 March 2013

The HUMAN story behind the Bedroom Tax

Alf's a binman and Laura works at the local village shop.

They moved into their nice two bedroom council house with their 2 young daughters 35 years ago.

Finally, they had a little security after years of living hand to mouth in an endless stream of bedsits and temporary housing. When they got the keys, after so much striving, they were told it was their home. They couldn't believe it was theirs. They paid their rent and took a breath for the first time in years.

Their new home was a 1950s two-bed, the red-brick houses ranged around a village green.

Alf never sits down. He's just one of those blokes that needs to be "on the go" every minute, fixing and helping and improving.

As soon as Alf got the keys (with permission of course) he ripped out the tired old local authority kitchen and put in a beautiful new one he made himself. He redecorated everywhere, fixed the broken floorboards and landscaped the garden. He even turned the outhouse shed into another bedroom so the girls wouldn't have to share once they grew and needed that bit of extra privacy. All from his own pocket & his own sweat. All from pride in his beautiful home.

After a few years, Alf and Laura looked into buying their home, hoping for a little future security for the girls.

However, (oh the irony) the council added £29,000 to the value of their home because Alf had done so much work to make it nice.

But Alf and Laura are "grafters", they didn't miss a beat. Didn't moan about fairness.

They just went on with bringing up their girls to be lovely women.

Alf could always be seen mowing everyone's lawns out the front. It was a council job really, but he liked to keep the road looking nice.

Every week he mowed the 130" lawns of the elderly couple who lived next door every week too and took away their rubbish if they couldn't manage. He never asked - he knew they'd only say no if he did - he just did whatever needed to be done, day by day. Always on the end of the phone or a quick knock away if the old man fell and his wife couldn't get him up. No fuss, no debt, just a neighbourly hand and a joke.

The girls fell from the trees they climbed on the green, learned to ride their bikes, snogged boyfriends in cars outside, stomped, cajoled and sulked their way into adulthood, as all teens must.

Now of course they've moved on. Found families of their own, gone to college. A credit to their parents in every possible way.

Now, Alf's retired, and the village shop has closed, leaving Laura with few other options for work in a small village. Because Alf is retired, but she is not, and as reward for all their work, for their striving, their care of others, their strength and their support, their community or the care and pride they took in their home, Alf and Laura must now move away or find £24 extra per week - over £100 a month.

They now have what are classed as two "spare" bedrooms - the girl's room (it will always be the girl's room to Alf and Laura) and the room Alf built so lovingly downstairs in the old coal store when they grew and  needed a little more privacy.

Yet shockingly, frighteningly, like a bolt from the blue, the government say they must now pay more or move. What if the girl's want to visit? What if there are grandchildren? Where will they sleep?

They don't have the extra money, and there's nowhere smaller to move to for 30 miles. The council has offered them a room in a B&B for "What might be a wait of several years I'm afraid" but that's the only help they can offer. And the B&B is 90 miles away in a totally different county.

Their home. Their precious home. With the kitchen Alf built from scratch, their cherry tree in the garden nearly ready to bear fruit. Their million melting memories of life and love and trying and failing, shattered. Just like that. The dream of a secure home to grow old in now the children are raised and safe, stripped away. The old couple next door left with no-one to rely on.

The grass un-mown, the street unloved, quiet without Alf's booming, teasing, compassion.


The government justify the Bedroom Tax with fairness. They say it isn't "fair" Alf and Laura should keep the now-occasionally-spare rooms in their family home. They say that somehow, they haven't paid for it ten times over in rent and love. They say they have no right to security, a place to call home and grow old in, or their memories.

Tomorrow, there is a national day of protest taking place up and down the country against the Bedroom Tax. (Incidentally, for the economically concerned, the Bedroom Tax will actually cost councils more than it will save.) There will almost certainly be one near you. PLEASE add your voice and stand up for Alf and Laura and three quarters of a million people just like them. Half a million of them will be disabled. 

Please click here : For more details on tomorrow's protests and how to get involved where you are. Let's share it and tweet it til our fingers bleed, then hope with everything we've got that the public decide this is their new Poll Tax.

#BedroomTax #WOWPetition 

**Names have been changed, but Alf & Laura are a real family. 


  1. once again you've gotten to the heart of the matter sue

    1. The tragedy is not so much about Alf and Laura, as they probably won't be affected as their circumstances suggest they're unlikely to be claiming full housing benefit (and of course it's only those who have so little income that they're claiming housing benefit who are affected).

      The tragedy is that disabled or chronically sick adults and children, who either have good reason for needing the 'spare' bedrooms or good reason to need to stay where they are (eg because of local support networks that enable them to cope as sick or disabled people), and have only benefits or very low incomes to live on, are to be charged an extra 14% or 25% out of money they do not have - either subsistence level ESA or DLA which is supposed to cover the extra costs incurred by impairment. Whilst IDS has belatedly asked councils to use their 'discretion' where disabled children can't share a room (just as they have to use their 'discretion' where a home has significant adaptations), he has not made such families exempt.

      This is why there are 10 applications for judicial review in the system - on behalf of 5 disabled children and 5 disabled adults) - and DWP have been given until tomorrow (18 March) to come up with a reason why they should not proceed. (We're assuming the children's cases are going ahead despite IDS's comments on this group last week). For details see and for full information and links on the bedroom tax see

  2. My Sister Is Registered Blind has a Damaged Spinal Disk Due to A fall She had a few years ago, she has a Liver problem on top of these problems and already finds making ends meat difficult enough on the benefits she in receipt of at Present Receives, despite the Propaganda and Rhetoric Used by the Coalition Government over the Past Three Years the Benefits system is not so generous as to provide any Choice in Life Style or diet, it already provides no social or quality of life really, she lives in a rural Community in Tain Sutherland in a two bed roomed house with her guide dog and has need for infrequent help each weel from a friend who visits one night a week and her mother now 72 who stays over the weekend to help with Cleaning Cooking and food preparation for during the week, In the last week she has received a letter that stated she will have to pay £14 Per week For what has been classified as a spare room because of this she is also required to pay £11 Per week for Council tax for the room that she has been informed she will not qualify for the discretionary benefit payment because she is not sufficiently disabled, the Total Cost to her will be £25 Per week which is what she currently spends on Food.

    1. George, you might think this is easy to say, but your sister should resist - refuse to pay. See how it pans out. If everyone (or most people) refuses cough up they can't win.
      I have just received a bill for council tax which
      I can't afford to pay. I am going to tell them
      I can't pay - stall them - play for time & see
      how things go. Targetting the poor is wrong. Unity is strength.

    2. Have her contact the papers and news media - Channel 4 have been very good.

      Also have her contact her MP.

      My thoughts and prayers are with her.

  3. This was emailed to me earlier but I am uncertain who the author is. I apologise if it is not ok to publish it here.

    "Dear Bedroom Tax Affected Tenant.
    This is a fully updated post on 16 March 2013 at 8pm and combines two previous articles that together say how you can get rid of the bedroom tax for good and very quickly. Yes its long but it is worth reading and will only take 5 minutes. It says why you should challenge the bedroom tax with a simple letter and gives a draft of that letter after having described what carnage and chaos a simple one-page letter from every bedroom tax affected tenant will create. It will cost you a stamp or you can simply hand it in to your nearest council one-stop shop.
    Please read on:"

  4. This post looks at WHY and HOW every bedroom tax affected household should challenge their local council’s bedroom tax decision. It also explains using Liverpool City Council figures to illustrate the absolute pandemonium this will cause.
    What do I mean by challenge?
    Some tenants have received letters from their landlords to say the bedroom tax may apply to them. Any such letter is simply a letter and for the bedroom tax to apply to any tenant your will receive a formal letter from the council HB department – a Notice – with regard to the bedroom tax decision.
    When a decision is taken by the Housing Benefit department that the bedroom tax applies you will receive a “Benefit Decision Notice” (BDN) and this by comparison is a legal letter – a Notice. Even if your landlord is the council they will need to send you a formal letter from the Housing Benefit department.
    The BDN will say how you can appeal the decision, which is a right, and I copy below what HB decision letters from Liverpool City Council say and wherever you live this will be very similar. It says: -

  5. “If you want to know more about this decision or think it is wrong, you must tell us within one month of this letter or we may not be able to help.
    You can either:
    Ask for an explanation
    Ask us to look again at the decision
    Appeal against the decision – this can only be in writing. If you appeal against the decision an independent tribunal administered by the Tribunal Service will hear your appeal.”
    In short – ‘explain’, ‘look again’ and ‘appeal’ are your basic options. Any or all of these 3 options form the challenge. You can write asking for the council to send a more detailed explanation to you which you can then consider with a view to issuing a later appeal within the month or asking the council to look again after they have sent you the more detailed explanation.
    Why this will create pandemonium?
    1. The scale
    •Liverpool has 5 parliamentary constituencies which form the City Council local authority area which issues Housing Benefit decisions.
    •The National Housing Federation issued a breakdown of bedroom tax affected households by parliamentary constituency.
    •As such we know that Liverpool City Council (LCC) has 12,649 bedroom tax affected households in these 5 constituencies.
    •Therefore LCC would need to consider 12,649 bedroom tax ‘challenges’ if everyone challenged
    •UPDATE (see comments) For the avoidance of doubt Liverpool has 43,460 social tenants claiming HB at latest figures. The 12,649 is the number of those affected by the bedroom tax.
    2. What does each ‘challenge’ involve?
    •The DWP (purported) impact assessment gives an estimate of each ‘appeal’ as a monetary cost of £200 to the council.
    •This gives a cost to LCC of 12,649 x £200 if we accept this extremely low DWP estimate of cost and a cost to LCC of £2,529,800 at face value.
    •Yet just as the tenant has a month to issue an ‘appeal’ or other form of challenge then LCC will need a policy of how long they will take to respond – probably a month as well – to explain, reconsider or refer to appeal at Tribunal.
    3. Unpicking the LCC response needed

  6. •If we assess each hour of LA time at £25 or so – which is what a few years back the government advised as a cost per hour for councils to use for processing Freedom of Information requests - then the £200 cost of an ‘appeal’ or challenge (the DWP figure) broadly equates to 8 hours of LCC staff time per appeal or challenge
    •The total staff time needed to consider 12,649 challenges becomes 12,649 x 8 hours – a total staffing time of 101,192 hours!!
    •101,192 hours is one month’s staff time of 160 hours for approximately 632 full-time workers!
    So Liverpool City Council would need 632 staff solely dealing with bedroom tax challenges.
    That assumes they need to do this in one month. It further assumes that 8 hours of staff time per appeal or challenge is sufficient as per the DWP estimate. If further assumes each appeal or challenge is looked at by only 1 member of staff and doesn’t need 2 for example.
    Even if they took a year to respond to each challenge this means 53 full-time staff!!
    It further assumes LCC could find 632 or even 53 HB trained staff and LCC would be competing locally with Wirral, Sefton, St Helens, Knowsley, Cheshire West and Chester, and countless other LAs in a commutable area for these ethereal HB trained staff too
    Of course every other council would be in the same boat of searching for HB trained staff. So this is impossible unless IDS can wave a magic wand and produce trained HB decision-making staff out of the ether.
    It assumes LCC has budgeted for the cost of 632 HB trained staff and has a spare £2.5m plus recruitment cost or more likely much higher agency costs. Will existing trained HB staff need to be paid more to retain their services? Yes so there’s huge additional costs to the public purse involved here isn’t there reader?
    I don’t need to continue at all with this as it is patently obvious that the entire bedroom tax system would come crashing to its knees.
    Put simply, if you want to put a figurative bomb underneath the bedroom tax and force the coalition to rethink, and rethink bloody quickly, as they will be heavily pressured from EVERY local authority to do something, then every bedroom tax affected household should exercise their right to challenge their bedroom tax decision does precisely that!

  7. Social landlords would be adversely affected as well. Their pre-existing arrears cases would likely see the tenant saying they are awaiting a decision or payment from HB, but this is taking forever as the system is clogged up with bedroom tax appeals and HB are way behind dealing with their normal workload! The district judge will likely adjourn and more arrears accrue on the rent account until HB decide. The judiciary itself will be concerned over this and also when a huge increased number of formal appeals is sent to tribunals. Will these need to be sitting 24 hours a day like magistrates courts did during the riots? More public purse costs anyone?
    So the government would also have social landlords and the judiciary lobbying hard with all the councils too and all of a sudden all of the actors (councils, landlords, tenants and the judiciary) on one side and all lobbying the coalition. Remember this is an absolute right of appeal or challenge to a HB decision and perfectly lawful. The government would have little option but to think again and very quickly.
    There you have a lawful plan to rid the pernicious bedroom tax and quickly. All it needs is a small effort and free contribution from some experts well versed in drafting arguments and experience of the HB appeals system – a couple of hours each would do it wouldn’t it?
    One wonders why social landlords and particularly their lobby groups such as the CIH and NHF and others who, after all, are paid handsomely by their members the same social landlords to lobby on their behalf, hadn’t thought of this simple idea!
    Anyone would think that social landlords wouldn’t benefit from transferring back to government the £500m per year financial risk of arrears this government imposed on them with the bedroom tax.
    Let’s be clear that is what the bedroom tax policy is a massive transfer of financial risk to social landlords and a thinly veiled attack on social housing – and why hasn’t the CIH or NHF or other sector lobby shouted that from the rooftops? Just another tale of incompetency of the housing response to the bedroom tax anyone? Yes just like a worker in private housing needs £6,000 more in gross salary than a social housing tenant for the same job in order to pay the average £80 per week cost of private rent? No that argument has never been put out either by the social housing sector either! No argument that this means high private rents are a barrier to the take up of employment compared with social housing. No argument that the taxpayer gives £1bn or so more in subsidy per year to private landlords than it gives n total to social landlord through this HB added beneft cost to privately rented housing either.
    Anyone see an argument that the bedroom tax called the ‘spare room subsidy’ by the coalition should be called the ‘cost of room subsidy?’

  8. Yes you’ve guessed the wonderful social landlord not put that argument out ther either…and as there are more spare rooms in privately rented housing than in social housing…oh don’t get me started!
    NHF figures on numbers of bedroom tax households here by constituency
    DWP estimate of appeals here and section 54 says:
    “…if 20,000 claimants chose to appeal the decision made on their Housing Benefit entitlement, DWP estimates the additional administration cost associated with these appeals would be approximately £4m.”
    Sample letters of challenge that all 660,000 tenants can use are needed. So come on people get circulating good quality sample letters of challenge and appeal and let’s get rid of this nasty pernicious drawn-up on the back of a fag packet bedroom tax policy.
    Let’s each donate 2 hours of time and so every bedroom tax affected household can easily challenge its council for the cost of a first class stamp by simply cutting and pasting into their letter of challenge?
    Isn’t the tenants lot stressful enough without having to trawl through the HB Regulations to see that, for example:
    •every council needs a policy to include where and when they refer a registered social landlord HB case to the Rent Officer; or
    •that this is standard practice for private housing yet the landlord is simply believed for social tenancies and as HB departments are ‘guardians of the public purse’ why do they discriminate against the social tenant here?
    •If a bedroom is what a social landlord says but not what a private landlord says cannot be fair can it?
    •Is that a blanket policy by HB departments, an unlawful fettering or restraint is the status quo!
    •Does the council have a policy on referring unsuitably large social housing accommodation to the Rent Officer?
    •What information was sent by the landlord to the HB department for HB to assess the bedroom tax? Did this include unnecessary information outside of any protocol between HB and the social landlord?
    •How does the HB department determine what is a bedroom? Is it just the acceptance of the social landlords word and what is the written policy where a claimant disputes that view?

  9. *******************************************************************************

    Standard Letter

    Dear Sirs,

    I received your decision letter dated INSERT DATE and referenced above that imposed an under occupation charge, or bedroom tax of 14% / 25% (delete as appropriate) on my existing award of Housing Benefit.

    I consider this unwarranted yet in order to challenge this in the correct way and potentially by way of formal appeal I require further information to be sent to me within 7 days of this letter and the urgency of that is to ensure I have enough time to formulate any such appeal and in full knowledge of the facts of my case within the time allowed; OR in the alternative I request the deadline for any such formal appeal be moved to 21 days after I receive the request information below:

    1. A written copy of the Council’s policy and decision-making procedures in relation to referring a socially housed claimant decision to the Rent Officer Service.

    2. A full explanation of how the council decided that (INSERT ADDRESS) was determined to be a 3 bed property for the under occupation charge and this to include what involvement if any of my landlord, (INSERT LANDLORD NAME) in this process.

    Please state by way of covering letter with the requested information any changed deadline date from above with regard to a formal appeal.

    Yours etc


  10. Time is of the essence given how imminently the bedroom tax will be imposed.

    The suggested wording is merely that, a suggestion, and not any form of legal advice or other formal advice from anyone involved. There was general agreement that the wording could be better yet also general agreement that it articulates what tenants should seek, namely as much information as possible so as to consider whether they want to issue a formal appeal. That is very reasonable for tenants to seek as are the requests for further information and the timescale issues and any letter of challenge should not be frivolous or give any reason to be perceived and dismissed as frivolous.

    The full information requested is not available on any Council website normally and for any Council to simply suggest the tenant look on the website or even post it there assumes that all tenants are computer literate and have access to a computer and printer. That is unreasonable for any Council to suggest we maintain. There is full agreement that any such standard letter needed to be simple, understandable by every tenant and each Council and not be ambiguous as well as being reasonable. This we maintain is achieved.

    At the risk of patronising, the HB Decision Notice the tenant receives will have the tenants HB reference number on and this needs to be put on any such letter. The tenant National Insurance Number as well and of course date and sign and keep a copy. Finally, it just seemed right to release this on the day of 57 demonstrations and marches up and down the country against the bedroom tax.

    Good luck to all 660,000 tenants.

    1. Fantastic, A Smith!! I'll be sharing this with people tomorrow, at Huddersfield's protest against the Council Tax increases, and the Bedroom Tax. Hudds. Town Hall, 16:30. All are welcome to protest this vicious attack on the most vulnerable sector of the population. Even if it doesn't affect you directly, stand in solidarity with those that it will.

  11. Individual examples of real people's lives is what this govt does not consider. They consider only budgeting spreadsheets.

    What happens when there are no "spare" bedrooms to take from people? What then? Boot them out on the street to make more room?

    They are like a Reverse Robin Hood Party - robbing from the poor and disabled to give to the rich.

  12. It is not 'their' house - other people paid for it to help them for all these years - it was built with public money and they paid the rent. Now the landlord wants to make changes, its tough and sad.

    If they had wanted a place of their own then they needed to buy it.

    The government has no more money and the sad thing is its the poorest who gained the most from the welfare state that stand to lose the most.

    The answer is in builing more housing so the prices come down to make it affordable for all and to build more social housing with cheap borrowing with right to buy - but these are already the Tory policies not the labour ones.

    1. What a load of tosh. Margaret Thatcher always argued that council tenants had already paid for their houses many times over, which is one of the reasons she used to justify selling them off at a discount. Now her bastard offspring Cameron and Iain 'Duncan' Smith claim that the government 'subsidize' social housing rents. Thatcher was therefore saying that council tenants were a nett gain for the Exchequer whilst Smith and Cameron and no doubt Osborne claim that they are subsidized. They can't both be right, and of course it's the present government, if it can be called that, which is in the wrong: council houses repay their construction cost after ten or fifteen years and from then on are NOT a drain on the Exchequer by any measure. It follows that Smith's claim that they will save £500 million is a bare-faced lie - something we knew from other weaknesses in his 'reasoning' already.

      And let's be clear: building more housing is NOT Tory policy. They couldn't give a monkey's uncle about the social housing sector because the people in it either don't vote or don't vote for them.

    2. very true kaflca and i should just add in that council properties by and large are very inferior in construction and that includes new properties built today by housing associations

  13. Without wishing to be accused of an incitement to rebel, I think A. Smith's solution is eminently workable and would have the effect he claims. This really is another poll tax issue, and I'm surprised there has not been a more widespread public revolt at it and many of the other mean measures imposed on the poor under the guise of deficit reduction.

  14. Regarding a potential dispute against these decisions I would align it to the procedure relating to decision making and appeals. Hope this helps?


    Dear Sir/Madam

    Name/Property Address
    Claims reference number

    I write in relation to your decision letter dated the XX informing me of a reduction in the level of my Housing Benefit award with effect from the date shown in your notification letters(s) [usually attached]; I wish to lodge a dispute.

    As part of the disputes process I formally request a full written statement of reasons for the Council's decision and would be grateful if you could fully explain why my Housing Benefit has been reduced. Please consider this to be a formal request for the decision to be looked at again with an ongoing right of dispute to an independent tribunal if I remain dissatisfied with your decision.

    In your written reasons please provide me with references to the law used in making your decision and explain why you consider any relevant under occupation rules may apply. I may need this information to seek independent advice.

    *[In certain cases involving disabled children sharing rooms insert > ] Please confirm whether or not you consider whether the DWP guidance issued in circular HB/CTB U2/2013 (12 March 2013)applies to my claim and whether any arrears may be due to me with effect from or after the 15th May 2012.

    Please forward full details of the Council's policy on how the under occupation rules are applied in this area and provide details of any localised disputes process which may now exist so that I know how to proceed with my dispute. It would also be helpful if the Council could send me the relevant application form for a Discretionary Housing Payment in case I need to apply on the grounds of hardship.

    I thank you for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you.


    *With regard to this please see:


    Mylegalforum on Twitter

  15. Omg thank you so much I only received my bedroom tax notice last week and have been so worried about how and where I could find the extra money to pay the 14% required to keep my home.

    I myself am a disabled single mum of twins. Both my boys have Additional Support Needs and Ramsay, the eldest twin is registered disabled and needs his own room.

    But according to my letter I received I would have to pay an extra £12.45 per week towards my rent in order to stay in my home. I'm alread struggling with rent arrears and constantly worrying about when I'll be called appon by ATOS to be reassessed for my DLA. That and the added stress of the bedroom tax has had me so worried I've made my illness worse with stress.

    But now with this information and a template letter aswell I can breathe abit easier knowing that there is hope that maybe I might be able to stop this extra tax on my HB by simply writing out a letter.

    I can not tell you how much I appreciate the information you have give me. It really does make me weep with joy that maybe I can fight this governments new bedroom tax. And even more importantly than that I can help others in my community to flight this too.

    For the bottom of my heart I thank you and I will make sure that each and every person I know that will be effected by the bedroom tax knows that they have the right to appeal.

    Jenny Shearer Aberdeen

  16. The original of this post that A Smith places here I published here originally at speyejoe as a skeleton argument then put the flesh on the bones (Liverpool details) then asked for some examples of standard letters and then put all in one place here with the standard letter icluded and released again as one post

    I am not 'precious' in any way about it being here or non-attributed at all and the more people that see it and use it the better - that is its purpose.

    I would just add take care to read it properly and undestand the difference between a challenge (asking for more info / reconsider) and a formal appeal.

    I will be issuing some examples of formal HB appeal challenges all 660,000 can use in the next few days as I can see many legitmate formal appeal grounds an way above the 20,000 appeals the inept DWP estimated.


    1. Joe,

      I apologise profusely for not attributing this to you. I was forwarded it in email form and could not get any more information about the author otherwise I would have attempted to contact you before posting it here.

      What can I say? Thank you for a start. This blew me away. I'd like to shake your hand and buy you a drink or three!

  17. A pdf version if that is easier to read can be downloaded from my website at entitled how to beat the bedroom tax

  18. joe just a quick question - presuming the council reply to the challenge letter stating their case, have you got any follow up appeal letter templates to hit them with? thanks

  19. well this is why i'm looking at privately rented places. I'm on the flipside, i'm a daughter of a couple like the one described in the article. I grew up in a single mobile home that was falling apart around our ears, but was told by the council that because we had that place we weren't eligible for a council home, even though we had no heating, there was holes in the roof and floors, the front door had gaps and didn't close/lock properly, there wasn't any insulation and we had single paned windows. I remember every school morning waking up under 3 duvets to the sigh of my breath in the cold morning air. We all had to sit in coats, duvets, blankets, scarves, hats and gloves indoors watching tv and eating our dinners. When i got older, i saw how my parents were suffering (they had started to get a mouse infestation) i went to the council and listed everything, they came round and put my parents on the highest banding. It was THAT bad. But my parents were worried. I'm disabled, and struggle with living independently so i would still come home and stay there from time to time because of the loneliness i face on a daily basis due to a body clock disorder. My parents wanted a 2 bedroom place, so that i could still come back if i wanted to and that i could stay from time to time if i needed to. But the council denied them and only gave them a 1 bedroom bungalow. I can't even sleep on the sofa because i frequently sleep during the day, and they can't stay round mine because i'm frequently awake during the night.

    I really think these things sound be more personal, and the decisions should be on individual needs, so you make your own case and they decide whether that's fair and if there's evidence to back it up. Instead we have this ridiculous 'one size fits all' attitude about everything from the government.

  20. Hi Sue, you have a great blog and I hope I got this right that I saw you on sky news today.
    Here is my view, I currently have Crohns, and suffer realy bad now. Most of my problems stem from the two major resections I have had. The secondof which was a complte disaster and still hasnt healed properly after 3 years. I am just about to lose my car which is the only method I have to get to the shops and doctors or get out anywhere. My post operation problems are very severe and as such I cannot go anywhere without my car, I am now house bound completely :(. I live my life around the loo, and its horrible, I hve been told by ATOS and the Government that I am not entitled to aything, I think its because I dont know how to fill in the forms correctly. Here is my point, sorry. I have been told that I must go to boston to have an ATOS medical, unfortunatley I am unable to attend since I cannot get out of the house, I have been told I must seethe docter and arrange for an ATOS home visit, but I cannot afford the doctors letter fee of £25 and I cannot get to the doctors now anyway! I cannot use public transport for obvious reasons and I cannot afford a taxi either. This means I am goin to miss my ATOS medical and as such I will be one of those people the government say are refusing to take the medical! Its not that I am refusing to take te medical its that I cannot damn well get there! I am sure there are other people in the sameboat as me, whereby ATOS are forcing people to go and see them whn the are unabl to travel there and unable to afford the doctors letters!

  21. I'm starting to put my tax brackets together now and looking for ways to reduce earned income. Good thing I can contribute to an IRA until April.

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