Neath bedroom tax mum - "We're making the best of a bad situation"
A SINGLE mother has called on the Government and general public to have a change of attitude about those who are affected by the new bedroom tax.
Marlene Jones was among a dozen residents from across Neath who attended a meeting at the town's Castle Hotel, organised by South Wales West AM, Bethan Jenkins, last week.
The aim of the meeting was to set up an action group to fight the new charges, which has seen some people having to live on £7.50 a week since the changes came in.
Ms Jones, who has been sick with depression for the last 20 years, recently came off her sickness benefits.
She said: "I have had it horrendously over the past four weeks.
"It's taken me back five years, I've really tried to build myself up, but it's been horrendous.
"But there are people who are weaker than me.
"I know people who have had to go to Pay Day loans as well, which isn't helping."
Speaking to the meeting, Ms Jones, aged 52, added: "One of the things that motivated this bedroom tax and what is putting on us all he time is not what they take off us, they're trying to grind us down.
"They think we're all the same, but we are not who these people think we are, we should prove that we're not."
Ms Jenkins AM said: "The people who put these policies in place, they don't care and they think we don't care, they think your rights are less than other people's.
"That's why it's important for you to fight this, you need to say this is my life and you're not going to do this to me."
Ms Jones, who lives in a three bedroom property in Fairyland with her teenage daughter, added: "It's the way they have portrayed us.
"People are saying people on the dole, on the social are the ones affected.
"But some people's lives are just planned out, while others lives, we make a good job out of a bad situation.
"My daughter's said a couple of times to me now that people know she has free school meals.
"I know someone who's agreed to pay £35 a week in rent, and she doesn't know what she's going to do to get the money.
"I know people who have had eviction notices.
"Up to now, it hasn't been too bad for me, but it's when the gas needs to be put on in the cold weather, that's when people are going to really struggle with money."