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27 January 2016

Bedroom tax ruled discriminatory in two instances

Government cuts to the spare room subsidy have been found to be discriminatory in the courts.

By Stephen Bush

The government’s welfare programme has suffered a blow after the removal of the spare room subsidy – more commonly known as the bedroom tax –  was found to be unlawfully discriminating in two separate cases.

In the first case, a single mother, whose panic room – a secure room designed to protect her and her child from an abusive ex-partnerwas hit by the bedroom tax, sued the government on behalf of domestic violence victims.

In the second case, Sue and Paul Rutherford’s disabled grandson, Warren required overnight care. They sued on behalf of children in the same situation.

The court of appeal found that the bedroom tax consists of unlawful discrimination against the disabled and domestic violence victims. Beth Grossman, head of policy at disability charity Scope said: “For the vast majority of disabled people these are not spare bedrooms, these are essential rooms….we should be looking at ways to bring costs down rather than ramping them up.”

The government plans to appeal both cases.

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