Stephanie Bottrill: The treasury ‘does not comment on individual cases’ (except when it can use them to demonise the welfare state)

Having gained notoriety for his bizarre lifestyle, Michael Philpott caused outrage after he was found to have caused the deaths of six of his children in a fire which he started deliberately. Memorably, the case was jumped on by the right-wing press as "a vile product of welfare UK". George Osborne even chipped in, saying it raised important welfare "questions".

Having gained notoriety for his bizarre polyamorous lifestyle, Michael Philpott shocked the nation after he was found to have caused the deaths of six of his children in a fire which he started deliberately.

Memorably, the case was jumped on by the right-wing press, with Philpott labelled “a vile product of welfare UK” by the Mail. The chancellor George Osborne even chipped in, saying the case raised important welfare “questions”.

On May 4, Stephanie Bottrill, 53, killed herself. She had previously told the Sunday People that she was worried about how she would afford the £20 extra a week for the two under-occupied bedrooms in her home – money she owed because of the government’s ‘bedroom tax’.

A note addressed to her son, Steven, found at her home upon her death read: “Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the government.”

Asked to comment on this case, however, the treasury said it “does not comment on individual cases”.

The hypocrisy didn’t go unnoticed.

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12 Responses to “Stephanie Bottrill: The treasury ‘does not comment on individual cases’ (except when it can use them to demonise the welfare state)”

  1. Daniel John

    Good point, well made

  2. OldLb

    1. What did you try and do to help her move to a more suitable house?

    2. Why should anyone have to exist in poverty so that someone else can have two spare bedrooms subsidised out of their labour and hard work?

    You really have lost the plot. You’ve made out that people who demand spare bedrooms, paid for by others have no impact on the people paying for that luxury.

    That the money to pay for it has come out of their pension contributions, NI, and that as a consequences they have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds is wrong.

    [26K a year worker, if they had invested their NI, would have a fund of 627,000 pounds. State pension costs 152,000 – that’s a loss of 450,000]

  3. Felix

    Moving her would have cost the state even more. Now that’s what I call really losing the plot. You win D’OH of the Day

  4. Daniel John

    Does OldLb stand for Old Labour?

  5. Bill d'Moor

    OldLg: Stick to the Daily Gleephart where you belong.

  6. OldLb


    1. She moves. She saves money by not paying for rooms she didn’t need.
    2. With a roof and the removal of that financial stress she is better off
    3.Now with a three bedroom property, you move in someone who is in short term accommodation paid for by the rest of us. Expensive as a result, and so we save lots of money.
    4. That family who move in now have a better standard of living.

    If this had been done, I doubt you she would have taken the action she did.

  7. Stephen Hildon

    Who is the “you” you are addressing point one to?

  8. Selohesra

    Perhaps if Labour/BBC stopped scaremongering on every govt policy to fix Labour’s mess then people would not take such extreme measures.

  9. I h8 twaddling farts

    But you don’t like poor people. The crap that you post here and on the Torygraph proves that you do not give a damn.

    I don’t suppose that you noticed the lack of one bedroomed properties in most areas of Britain.

    Like Iain Dunked-in Shit, I doubt if you’ve factored in the cost of keeping the newly made homeless in B&B establishments.

    What is all the bs about investing NI contributions? Have a word with Gideot and he’ll tell you that it’s a Ponzi but better than a 401(k) in Enron.

  10. Magrat Thatchless

    BBC are villains, taking our money rubbishing NHS Social workers, probation officers, paving the way to privatisation. mm who is in charge… old tory hack. i hate paying these people money.

  11. Sasson Hann

    People forget it seems that these properties were their secured right in accordance with the law. People and families with such tenancies CANNOT be removed from them by law.

    So, the cons thought up a way around that: impoverish the tenant so that they break the terms of their tenancy: the ONLY other way they could remove them by means of the law.

    And why were these properties theirs BY RIGHT? Because that is how this system was set up, to ensure that the poorest of individuals and families along with the low-paid were not moved on, in and out of properties and around areas for the rest of their lives.

    These laws ensured stability for the disabled and the vulnerable in society, which is what a decent civil society should do.

    NO ONE during the 60 years of history after the war EVER made a point about people in social housing and spare rooms. This has ONLY become an issue since the cons came to power. And, they’ve ONLY been able to make it an issue because successive governments included conservatives, DID NOT BUILD ENOUGH SOCIAL HOUSING. So instead of addressing this issue and embarking on a building scheme similar to the post war scheme – WHEN THE POST WAR GOVERNMENT OWED TRIPLE IN THE GDP THAN WE OWE NOW – rather, they formulate the idea that the tax payer is subsidising social housing tenants ‘extra rooms’, when most of them whilst working have paid for their homes TWICE OVER.

    Then they whip up this propaganda in the media to encourage public support, and of course, some of the public are very aggrieved because they are forced to rent sub standard private accommodation from BUY TO LET LANDLORDS and why is that? BECAUSE SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS DID NOT BUILD ENOUGH SOCIAL HOUSING, and they did not discourage buy to let. And now even more social housing is being sold off.

    Ultimately, Mrs Bottrill was occupying her home LEGALLY: SHE WAS NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG. She didn’t want to move because it was her HOME. When you have a serious and chronic long term illness, in the end, your HOME and garden is all that you have left in life. And, apart from that, even with help, moving would have a terrible knock on affect on your general health.

    Infrahumans; that’s all we are now:

    Sasson Hann

  12. GeorgeMcF

    Of Course They Don’t Comment on Individual Cases, How About The 11.000 Other Cases, if the DWP The Treasury Or Ant Government Official Did Comment It would be Simply A Denial, Every Death At The Hands Of These Welfare Reforms

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