A house-hunting couple, who are benefits due to ill health, were told to ‘get a job and stop sucking the life out of the country’ by man advertising a room to rent.
Maria Brindle, 25, and her boyfriend Liam Bellis contacted Kevin Parkes over Facebook after spotting a room to rent in a shared house, asking if the room was available for couples on housing benefits.
Kevin asked the pair why they claimed benefits before saying: “I’m going to be absolutely blunt and up front right now. You both need to pull yourselves together and stop blaming ill health for your reason not to work.”
He then went on to say the reason Liam has depression and can’t work is because ‘he has no motivation’ from not having a job. He claimed Maria had a bad back because ‘she doesn’t move all day’.
Parkes continued: “Do yourselves a favour and stop sucking the life out of this country. I’m not saying this to be hateful or nasty but it’s the truth.
“Why should I be out of the house 12 hours a day, five days a week and pay for myself to live on this planet when you expect me to pay for your roof alongside mine?
“If you both pulled your fingers out, you might feel better about yourselves and each other. I’ve had my say to help you, not to amuse myself.”
Defending what he wrote to the couple, Kevin said: “There’s no excuse for it. I come from a housing estate. My mum and dad always did their best by me and showed me a good work ethic.
“But many in this country don’t have the same work ethic as my mum or me or others who work hard their whole lives.
“I broke my leg only a matter of weeks ago and spent three-and-a-half weeks off work. But I refused to claim any benefits as the country is struggling enough as it is.
“People out there need that money but I could manage so I didn’t take it. I work an average job as a construction worker, from 7.30am-4.30pm but I’m out of the house for 12 hours a day.
“A lot of people can’t get off their arses and get to work. People are out there with genuine physical and mental health problems and that’s what the extra money is for. But bone idle and lazy people shouldn’t have it.
“If she [the woman I messaged] can get a job then she can then feel better about herself, which is why I said it. It will give her a sense of purpose in life.
“You don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to have a sense of purpose with your job, you can get it while working at a petrol station.
“This woman hopefully hasn’t taken it the wrong way or anything. It was not intended to be bullying or mean. It was just a message to say go and get a job and contribute to this country.
“She might well be telling the truth [about her and her partner’s disabilities] but I live on a housing estate where people are regularly claiming as they don’t want to work and that’s just not right.
“A doctor can’t prove if you are depressed or have a bad back if you say you do. You can just say it and that’s it, you are off work.
“I was just helping advertise the room for my friend and I was helping make sure someone who was taking money from the system and not going to pay their rent didn’t move in there.”
However, Maria says both her and her boyfriend have good reason to be off work sick.
She said: “My partner doesn’t understand what his problem is. The messages stopped and he blocked me.
“I’ve been through a lot this year. I can’t work because I’ve got some severe back problems. I have been to the hospital and doctors so many times and they still can’t figure out what is wrong. I take painkillers every day. Some days I can’t even get out of bed.
“My partner’s Asperger’s syndrome, depression and anxiety means that he can’t go outside and meet new people. He’s been told by the DWP that he can’t work.
“I haven’t come across any more suitable rooms but I’m going to keep looking. No one will give us a chance. We have my partner’s adult social care worker coming around soon to see what they can do.”