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High Court rules bedroom tax non-discriminatory

31 July 2013

In a lengthy judgment handed down on 30th July 2013, Lord Justice Law and Justice Cranston found against ten families who claimed that the bedroom tax was discriminatory and breached article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

The 10 claimants were all people suffering with disabilities. They faced significant reductions in housing benefit due to the bedroom tax. In one particular case a 40 year old lady who had spina bifida was supplied with a special bed that meant that her husband had to sleep in a second room. This second room meant they were faced with a 14% reduction in housing benefit.

The judges were of the view that local authorities had sufficient flexibility and discretion to make up this shortfall because of the £30 million that had been allocated to make discretionary housing payments. Following the judgment the Government announced that the discretionary housing pot was being increased by a further £35 million.

All the indications are that we haven’t heard the last of this case and the families will appeal the decision.

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