Julia Jones, who will have to live on just £53 a week, faces losing the home and garden where she scattered her husband’s ashes
Dear Mr Cameron
I heard you in Prime Minister’s Questions say you would look at individual cases on the bedroom tax. I am 59 years old, David (my husband) and I have both worked since we were 15, paid taxes, did our bit. We have never been well off but we both did worthwhile jobs.
Five years ago David got melanoma. He had excruciating treatment and, although still not well, returned to work as he thought it was his duty. Four years ago he got bowel cancer; he had an irreversible colostomy. Six months later he returned to work. Two years ago he got brain cancer. Seven weeks later he died.
Throughout all this I was advised I could get care allowance, but I rejected this: he was my husband, it was my duty to care for him. We lived off the little savings we had until we could return to work. When he had the colostomy we were allocated this home as David could not climb stairs any more and I struggled. His ashes are buried in the garden under the rose bushes that friends gave me instead of wreaths.
Mr Cameron, my husband and I were the hard workers you claim to support, we never asked for anything.
I would give everything if this had not happened to us. Because we were on benefit and sick, you and your government said hateful words against us. Words that made acquaintances look at us with contempt.
The most powerful men in the country imply we are scum so we must be scum. You and your government call us scroungers, next door go to work while our bedroom curtains are still drawn.
My curtains were still drawn at 11am as the light made David scream with pain.
Do you not consider that I would give everything for my husband to be alive, me to not have incapacitating pain and we could both be the hard workers we once were? I live in small 1 1/2 bed bungalow that was built for older people. It is supported elderly living so I feel safe. It could not house a family as under 55s are not allowed.
You now want to take my home from me. The home that literally made my fingers bleed cleaning as it had been neglected for 20 years when we moved here. You want me to leave my husband’s ashes, my neighbours who take me shopping and give me some form of social life? I have no family, we could not have children.
I am living without heating at present so how can I pay what I do not have to stay in my home? Have you any idea how that affects my fibromyalgia?
I eat one meal a day and am in constant pain which is exacerbated by the cold. I may get Discretionary Housing Benefit. But we both know that is only for 13 weeks at a time and when the pot is empty, it is empty. I have considered moving but the only property available is far from shops and bus stops and costs £98 per month more than where I am at present. I would be living in isolation.
You say you are building more social housing, but it is too little too late for many of us. You may blame the Labour policies, but it was your government who introduced this law so I have to hold you responsible.
Mr Cameron, I do not believe you or your MPs are evil men at heart, I believe this is an ill-thought-out plan and you did not understand the consequence of your action.
I ask you to take a step back and look at this again.
THE ABOVE IS JUST PLAIN CRUEL…I AM ASHAMED TO BE BRITISH.
Yours, Julia Jones