Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, today (27th January 2016) greeted what he called an “historic” Court of Appeal judgement which said that the Government’s keystone Bedroom Tax was “discriminatory”.
“This morning we have learnt that the Appeal Court, hearing two test cases, have ruled that this tax discriminates against the disabled and victims of domestic violence.
“The bedroom tax, or what the government continue to call the “spare room subsidy”, cuts benefits for social housing tenants who have a “spare” bedroom.
“One appeal concerned the effect of the policy on women living in properties adapted because of risks to their lives. Her home was equipped with a panic room. The second appeal focused on the impact of the policy on disabled children needing overnight care.
“These are far more far-reaching than previous judgements which hung on technicalities in the regulations. This one is based on needs of the registered disabled across all boundaries and to all victims of domestic violence.
“We are told that Iain Duncan Smith has said he will be trying to appeal this at the Supreme Court, but the strength of this judgement is such that he cannot be confident of holding the line on this extortionate and grossly unfair tax.
“In the meantime this will be a poser for councils, housing associations and the DWP. I would hope that these agencies will now pause their decisions affecting these groups of people.