‘Tarring everyone with same brush’: Sheffield woman

'Not scroungers': Terminal cancer sufferer Terry Jones with his wife Marie and their disabled daughter.  'Picture: Steve Parkin
'Not scroungers': Terminal cancer sufferer Terry Jones with his wife Marie and their disabled daughter. 'Picture: Steve Parkin
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The wife of a man with terminal cancer says it is ‘disgusting’ that the couple will be forced to pay the ‘bedroom tax’.

Terry Jones was diagnosed with lung cancer back in December 2008 and was originally told he only had six months to live.

Both Terry, aged 53, and his wife, Marie, 51, gave up work to enjoy what they thought would be their final months together.

But Terry survived beyond doctors’ predictions and has continued to fight the illness, although radiotherapy treatment means he regularly suffers excruciating pain.

The constant disruption to Marie’s sleep caused her to become ill herself and was even rushed to hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack, at which point Terry started sleeping in the spare room.

Now the couple, who live with their disabled daughter in a three-bedroomed house on Rotherham Road, Killamarsh, have been told they have a spare room and must either pay extra rent or move out.

Marie said: “I am so angry and I think it’s disgusting. They just have not considered people in our situation.

“They are tarring everyone with the same brush and it’s not fair. We’re not scroungers. We both had to give up good jobs when Terry was diagnosed.

“We earned decent money but we didn’t have any savings because we would use it to go on holiday. We didn’t know that one day we would end up in this situation.

“I’m his full time carer and the government are taking advantage of the fact I’m his wife. If we had a carer in full time then we’d be allowed three bedrooms.

“They’ve told us to make a budget but they’re welcome to come and show me where I can save more money. We haven’t got enough as it is.” A spokesperson for North East Derbyshire District Council said: “Mrs Jones was visited at her home and advised of the most appropriate option available to her, which in this case would be to apply for Discretionary Housing Payments – a limited fund we have available to help people in these circumstances.

“The council and Rykneld Homes have put in place a number of measures to help tenants who may be experiencing difficulties as a result of the welfare changes including schemes for those tenants who may wish to consider moving to smaller properties.”

Contact the council’s revenues team on 01246 217600 for help and advice.