Government loses 'bedroom tax' cases

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Median caption“I could cry with happiness,” said grand rent ul Rutherford

The Court of Please has ruled that the so-called bedroom tax discriminates against a domestic fierceness victim and the family of a disabled teenager.

The ruling followed legal ultimata by a woman who has a nic room in her home, and the grand rents of a 15-year-old who requires overnight attention.

The removal in 2013 of what the government calls the s re room assistance cuts benefits for social housing tenants with a “s re” chamber.

Ministers have said they will appeal.

The De rtment for Solve and Pensions (DWP) argued that it had given councils money to make discretionary yments to in the flesh facing hardship because of the policy change.

The case is now due to be decided in the Transcendent Court.

What is the ‘bedroom tax’?

Family: ‘Somebody had to do something’

Prime Vicar David Cameron said the government would “look very carefully” at the good sense. “But our fundamental position is, it is unfair to subsidise s re rooms in the group sector if we don’t subsidise them in the private sector.”

One of the cases – brought by a mate identified as “A” – concerned the effect of the policy on women living in properties shaped because of risks to their lives. Her home was equipped with a frighten room.

The second case – brought by Pembrokeshire couple ul and Susan Rutherford and their 15-year-old grandson Warren – targeted on the im ct of the policy on disabled children needing overnight care.

The BBC’s constitutional correspondent Clive Coleman said the ruling would affect only individual within these two specific groups – severely disabled children have need ofing overnight care and victims of domestic violence living in specially remodeled accommodation.

Media captionDavid Cameron defended the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ at PMQs

There are take ited to be about 300 such victims of domestic violence and thousands of coolly disabled children in this situation.

The Court of Appeal ruling acquire a win after a judicial review brought by the Rutherfords was dismissed in the High Court in 2014.

Cover benefit changes – dubbed the “bedroom tax” by Labour – were introduced in April 2013. Since then kids claiming housing benefits have been assessed for the number of bedrooms they in actuality need.

Families deemed by their local authorities to have too much explosive s ce have received reduced benefits, with yments being cut by 14% if they have on the agenda c trick one s re bedroom.

Both “A” and the Rutherfords claimed that the policy substitute discriminated against them unlawfully.

‘Not justified’

Lord Chief Judiciousness Lord Thomas, Lord Justice Tomlinson and Lord Justice Vos ruled in their beau geste, saying the “admitted discrimination” in each case “has not been justified by the Secretary of Official”.

Mr Rutherford said he was “absolutely delighted” with the ruling, adding: “I couldn’t get had a better start to the day.”

“It was so unfair that somebody had to do something to get the law changed.”

Dealing minister Anna Soubry told BBC Radio 4 that she “very much hoped” the superintendence would look again at this issue.

Michael Spencer, from the Young man Poverty Action Group, said the ruling meant families “can foil in their homes safe in the knowledge that their disabled babes can get the care they need”.

Rebekah Carrier, a solicitor acting for “A”, affirmed: “Our client’s life is at risk and she is terrified. The anxiety caused by the bedroom tax and the uncertainty close to this case has been huge.”


Analysis

By Clive Coleman, BBC licit correspondent

Today’s judgement is another example of the power of judicial analysis.

The s re room subsidy, more commonly known as the bedroom tax, could barely be a more politically contentious policy.

The victories for the two families at the heart of these lawsuits show once again that there is virtually no area of direction decision making that cannot be scrutinised by the independent judiciary.

Surmises are at ins not to make political decisions, but will step in where there is illegality.

A discerning review can be brought by anyone and allows the court to rule on whether the command (or any other public body) has acted lawfully.

Governments may find them crippling, but they remain a critical rt of our constitutional arrangements in holding public fuselages to account.


A spokesman for the DWP said the government “fundamentally” disagreed with the court’s policy.

“We have already been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. We recall there will be people who need extra support.

“That is why we are dispose ceding local authorities over £870m in extra funding over the next five years to plagiarize ensure people in difficult situations like these don’t lose out.”

Dimness work and pensions secretary Owen Smith said the ruling demanded “a glimmer of hope for the hundreds of thousands of people who have been hit by this barbaric policy”.

“Surely the time has now come for the Tories to discover a conscience, heed to the courts as well as the public, and scrap the hated bedroom tax.”

The government – which repels the term “bedroom tax” – says the regulations remove what is in fact a supplementary room subsidy.

It says it aims to encourage people to move to smaller real estates, potentially saving about £480m a year from the housing profit bill.


Have you been affected by the so-called “bedroom tax”? What do you call to mind a consider of the Court of Appeal’s decision?