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‘Despicable’: Bedroom tax could price disabled Salford couple out of own home, prompting outrage from Mayor

By Danielle Wainwright

A disabled couple in Salford hit hard by the bedroom tax have spoken out against the bill which will affect 3000 residents.

Graham and Grace Jarvis, who live with their adult daughter, will be forced to pay £15.62 per week for having a third bedroom and are outraged that the government has victimised their way of living.

The couple both suffer from mobility problems and use two bedrooms to ensure each can have a good night’s sleep.

However this way of living is under threat and both may have to leave their beloved home or risk shelling out the high taxation.

Grace said: “If we don’t want to move, we will be forced to live on £62 a month less.  How can we afford to do this? This house is the best house we have ever lived in and it took a long time to get it this way.”

For the Jarvis’s, money is already tight and the trio must decide whether to move to a smaller house on a lower budget.

“The Government are trying to get blood out of a stone,” Grace continued.

“We struggle to eat healthily with the money we are on now and we haven’t had a holiday for years.”

The three bedroom house has been fully adapted to meet their needs as Grace suffers from back spasms meaning she is unable to walk without being aided, and Graham has neurofibromatosis which means he suffers from tumours all over his body.

He also has to permanently wear a plastic cast after a broken leg didn’t heal and he is currently in remission from cancer.

Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart has highlighted the plight of the disabled couple and said: “It is despicable that disabled people like the Jarvis’s who are amongst the most vulnerable people in our community, are being treated so unfairly and cruelly.

“These are the people that the Tory leader Councillor Garrido has told to take in a lodger to avoid the tax.”

Welfare experts estimate that in total 3400 disabled Salford residents will be affected by the Government’s bedroom tax from April 1st.

Graham currently receives lower rate disability living allowance, industrial injury benefit and employment support allowance. 

Mayor Stewart said: “The Jarvis’s are a fine upstanding Salford couple who are now being victimised for their serious disabilities by the Government’s bedroom tax.

“It is penalising people like these who are in real need, forcing them to live on less money or move home. The Government should scrap their bedroom tax immediately.”

Picture courtesy of World Economic Forum, with thanks.

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