Court holds ‘bedroom tax’ to be unlawful and unfair
By Josephine Hayes
Earlier this year the Court of Appeal held that the controversial ‘bedroom tax’ was unlawful and discriminatory, leading to widespread calls for the tax to be scrapped.
The so called tax, which is actually a reduction in benefits and not a genuine tax, applies to people in social housing or in receipt of certain housing benefits and who have an empty bedroom in their home.
The case in question concerned two families who were subject to the tax. The first were the grandparents of a disabled teenager. They were found to have a spare room in their home as they had a bedroom for their disabled grandson to enable them to assist with his care overnight. The second was the victim of domestic violence who has a panic room in her home which was deemed to be a spare bedroom. In both cases the tax was considered to be unfair.
The ruling has renewed calls for the bedroom tax to be scrapped, although it is being appealed and will now be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
Josephine Hayes is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors.