Wednesday 13 November 2013

OK, Enough’s Enough!

Severely disabled Martyn Styles, 50, of Tunbridge Wells in Kent, fears he will be forced to choose between having a carer and keeping his home as a result of the tax, which penalises tenants if they have a “spare” bedroom by reducing their housing benefit by up to 25 per cent.
Right, to clear up the first quibble – it’s not ‘his’ home, if it was, he could have as many spare rooms as he wanted and could afford...
Mr Styles lives in a three-bedroom house with his wife and 16-year-old son, who are also deaf, and uses the spare bedroom to store Braille equipment and a specialised computer. He now faces paying more than £40 a week in bedroom tax.
Just how big is this computer that it needs a separate room?! Is it from the 50s? Oh, sure, it’s nice and convenient to tuck it away in its own room, but, well…
"I won't be able to afford a carer if I continue to pay my bedroom tax and my benefit reduces as a result," he told Kent and Sussex Courier.
"I will be left with no quality of life. A disabled person like me with a family fears this added expense because there is so much else that I need to pay for."
Oh, really? Such as?
Mr Styles is unable to read print, lipread or hear, and is only able to communicate with specially-trained carers.
"I also need to pay out extra money elsewhere for things like cutting the grass and keeping the access clear," he said.
"These are things that sighted people could do or even leave undone, but for me it's so important."
Well, hold on just a minute there! Your wife and son can’t help? Really?
A DWP spokesperson said: "We are giving local authorities £190m extra funding this year so vulnerable claimants get the help they need during the welfare reforms, with £25 million specifically aimed to help disabled people who live in specially adapted accommodation.
"Even after the reform we still pay over 80% of most claimants' housing benefit, but the taxpayer can no longer pay for spare bedrooms in the social housing sector."
Just so. Enough whinging.


Ciaran Goggins said...

Come on! You will want kids up chimneys next.

Anonymous said...

This begs lots of questions, are the wife and son working, if not why are they not his carers? Surely being close family and living with him they would be best able to communicate with him and care for him. Does being deaf make you physically disabled too, so unable to carry out household duties like mowing the lawn? I pity his disability, it must be awful but I can't understand the domestic situation.

Macheath said...

'He now faces paying more than £40 a week in bedroom tax.'

Shouldn't that read 'His housing benefit will now be reduced by more than £40 a week'?

The Independent. I am; is it?

Bucko said...

Why are these people always looking to the state and the taxpayer for help?
Their first point of call should be themselves but they never think of that. The second port should be friends and family.
If this chap was my neighbour (and not a statist) I would happily cut his grass* while doing my own. In return I would probably ask for a go on the Cray 2 he keeps in the spare room. I'm a bit of a geek so would like that.

He just seems to expect everyone else to help him out without himself or his family lifting a finger though. And as macheath says, he isn't paying any tax.

I must admit, I read the opening lines as, he may be forced to choose between having a career and keeping his home. My mistake.

(*I don't have grass to cut but suppose I would If I were his neighbour. Principal applies)

Anonymous said...

You don't actually have to cut the grass. Many council tenants where I used to live never did.
If his neighbours mind then they can cut it for him.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX deaf, and uses the spare bedroom to store Braille equipment XX

Ähhh WHAT?

Do guide dogs come in brail nowdays?

Always KNEW that dalmatians had a purpose"!

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

@CR. Can we? It would give some of the little blighters a work ethic!

Budvar said...

I think there's a place for "Incentivizing" people who live in local authority housing into smaller properties when it's patently obvious they're kicking the arse out of it.

By "Kicking the arse out of it" I mean 2,3 or 4 spare bedrooms. In this case there's 3 bedrooms, and 3 people living there, so there isn't a "Spare bedroom", thy're just utilising their available space to their advantage.

Anonymous said...


His son is 16, ok he is deaf but that doesn't stop him mowing the lawn. The man is deaf and blind, his wife is also deaf, so why does he need carers when he has a wife and son?

The picture in the Independent, doesn't seem to show anyone called Martin, who is 50 and severely disabled.

The picture shows also shows a woman who is one of the 'Single Mother Defence Group', how about contraception love? Also how about having the father's name address and making him contribute and stop living off out taxation.

Anonymous said...

FFS the only reason someone,that disabled by the gene pool,can transmit his genes to the next generation, is the public tit there to suckle hopeless cases unto the umpteenth generation. Sheltered housing yes but without subsidised breeding.

JuliaM said...

"You will want kids up chimneys next."

Nah, most houses are centrally-heated now.

"Does being deaf make you physically disabled too..."

No, but I suspect benefit culture makes you dependent...

"The Independent. I am; is it?"


JuliaM said...

"Why are these people always looking to the state and the taxpayer for help?"

Because that's what successive governments have trained them to do?

" In this case there's 3 bedrooms, and 3 people living there, so there isn't a "Spare bedroom", thy're just utilising their available space to their advantage."

You need to recheck those rules, Budvar. A husband and wife are expected to share the same bedroom, so it is indeed one room too many.

Dr Cromarty said...

Deafness: makes you unable to use a lawnmower but still able to shag. Yeah. Of course.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the general ennui of the piece, I think the phrase "his home" is pretty accurate. It's not his house, but it is his home.