Suicide linked to bedroom tax

A woman who was threatened with the 'bedroom tax' on unoccupied rooms in social housing has committed suicide. Stephanie Bottrill, aged 53, died in the early hours of 4 May after being hit by a lorry on the motorway near her home in Solihull in the west midlands.

Mrs Bottrill left a note to her family saying: 'Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the Government, no-one else'. Her family said she had been worried about how she would afford an extra £20 a week as a result of housing benefit cuts. She lived in a three-bedroom house on her own. Government changes mean families deemed to have more living space than they need are faced with having their housing benefit cut – the so-called 'bedroom tax'.

Mrs Bottrill's son told a local newspaper: 'She was fine before the bedroom tax. It was dreamt up in London, by people in offices and big houses. They have no idea the effect it has on people like my mum'.

Source: BBC report, 13 May 2013
LinksBBC report | Birmingham Mail report | Daily Mail report

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Publication date: 
May 13 2013