"There is no doubt this policy is driving people to the edge of despair," says the shadow chancellor in response to the case of Stephanie Bottrill.
The Sunday papers were full of the distressing story of a woman who threw herself in front of a motorway lorry because she was worried about how she would pay the "bedroom tax". One should always be wary of ascribing motives to any suicide, but in this case there does appear to be a direct link.
In a letter to her son, the woman, Stephanie Bottrill, wrote: "Don't blame yourself for me ending my life, it's my life, the only people to blame are the government, no one else." A damming statement indeed.
Under the "bedroom tax", those social housing tenants deemed to have one spare room have their housing benefit cut by 14 per cent, while those deemed to have two or more have it reduced by 25 per cent. The measure will cost tenants an average of £14 a week more in rent or an extra £728 a year. After being ordered to pay an extra £20 a week, Bottrill reportedly attempted to downsize, as the government has advised claimants to do, but found "nothing suitable" offered to her.
As I have noted before, in England the problem is not an isolated one.