‘Pay bedroom tax? – I’d rather go to jail’
A DISABLED man is facing eviction because he is refusing to pay the so-called bedroom tax as he cannot access the upper floor of his house.
He says he would sooner go to prison than pay the “unlawful bedroom tax”, but has now received a notice seeking possession because of arrears built up since the charges were introduced in April.
Mr Thomson, aged 60, now owes £453 in unpaid bills but is furious Bolton at Home have not done more to find him a smaller home.
A property in Red Lane, Breightmet was suggested to him but after three aborted viewing appointments, the housing authority revealed to him that the house was not habitable.
Bolton at Home said Mr Thomson accepted the property in Red Lane after being told how long it would take to prepare it.
They said the Red Lane property would be ready for Mr Thomson by the end of this week, so he will not be made homeless, which is consistent with the housing authority’s “no homelessness” pledge made in August in response to bedroom tax fears.
But an arrangement will still have to be made to settle Mr Thomson’s bedroom tax debts.
But he claims he would rather go to prison than pay the outstanding sum owned on the property.
Mr Thomson, who has lived in Breightmet for seven years after moving to Bury from Scotland in 1966, said: “I’m on incapacity benefits and I pay the rent on my house each month but I refuse to pay this obscene and illegal tax.
“I will go to prison, I’m not bothered.
“This tax is unlawful and the British people have been sucked in like fools.
“I’m putting my foot down and calling a halt to this now.”
Mr Thomson suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung complaint which leads to breathing difficulties.
He also walks with a stick as he struggles with mobility and cannot climb stairs.
A Bolton at Home spokesman said: “Given the Red Lane property required repairs and improvement work, and considering the impact of the bedroom tax, we suggested Mr Thomson look for an alternative and offered to help him apply for discretionary housing payments.
“The property was unsafe to view. Work on the property has continued and we expect it to be ready by the end of this week.”
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