A 52-year-old grandmother who took her own life, left a note apparently blaming the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ for driving her to suicide.
Stephanie Bottrill, lived alone in a three-bedroom house after both her son and her daughter moved out.
Under the new rules she was told she had to move to a smaller property or lose £80 (N19,250) a month in housing benefit. The bungalow she was offered as an alternative was six miles away from her friends and family.
According to her local Labour councillor, Bottrill, who was unemployed, could barely afford to feed herself, let alone fund the shortfall in rent.
Bottrill on Monday, May 4 wrote a series of suicide notes before stepping out in front of a lorry. She died instantly.
“Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the government, no-one else,” she wrote in the note addressed to her son Steven, 27.
Bottrill’s death has renewed the debate over the ‘bedroom tax’, described by the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith as the ‘spare rooms subsidy’.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls seized on the case, saying: “There is no doubt that this policy is driving people to the edge of despair”.
Bottrill had lived in her three-bedroom council house in Solihull in the West Midlands of England for 18 years.