Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
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.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How automation can help telecoms companies unlock their growth potential
The pandemic has had a scarring effect on loneliness, but we can do better
Feel confident gifting tech to your children this Christmas