Socialist Worker

Suicide after benefit cuts

Issue No. 2267

An unemployed man has committed suicide in Wandsworth, south London, after his housing benefit was cut. This would have forced Richard Sanderson and his wife Petra to move.

He had previously been threatened with losing his jobseeker’s allowance for trying to train as an electrician—because this would have stopped him being available for job interviews.

The coroner acknowledged, “The fact his housing benefit was about to be cut and the family would be at risk of having nowhere to live, and being ordered to give up his training course because of the job centre’s rules, would appear to be especially poignant and tragic.”

This comes at the same time as government proposals to save £500 million from council tax benefits. This means a 20 percent cut for working-age people on low incomes.

Labour-run Southwark Council has become the latest to threaten social housing tenants with eviction over involvement in the recent riots.

A demonstration was to take place outside a council meeting on Wednesday evening.

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Article information

Tue 30 Aug 2011, 17:11 BST
Issue No. 2267
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