For former Swanscombe town councillor Dave West, the impact of benefit changes was stark: “It means that from being able to live independently, albeit on benefits, to not being able to exist – I was left with roughly £1 a day to live on after I’d paid my bills.
“That was a pound for food, clothes, travel.”
It cost Dave over £3 to get to the doctors. He is candid about the impact: “I couldn’t cope – I knew that I couldn’t live like that”. In April 2013, he attempted to take his own life.
Happily, Dave survived. But he is adamant that it was benefit changes that were at the root of his problems: “They just made it impossible for me to live anything like the life I was used to living – which was by no means glamorous. At that time Dave says he was working 30-40 hours…
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