Latest Public Sector News

30.07.13

Bedroom tax appeal rejected by High Court

Claimants have heard the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ does not discriminate against disabled people. 10 families had brought a judicial review to the High Court over cuts to their housing benefit for extra space they need for health reasons. The court judged the policy did not breach their human rights.

The DWP introduced the cuts in April, with around 660,000 working-age social housing households living in properties deemed too large for their needs. Claimants have lost an average of £14 per week, with 420,000 disabled people affected.

The Government has made £25m available to help disabled people affected by the cuts, although this has been described as “insufficient” by campaigners. The move was intended to reduce the £21bn annual housing benefit bill, but has been attacked by many.

A statement from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: "We are pleased to learn that the court has found in our favour and agreed that we have fulfilled our equality duties to disabled people.

"Reform of housing benefit in the social sector is essential, so the taxpayer does not pay for people's extra bedrooms."

The families plan to appeal.

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