Friday 21 February 2014
Bedroom tax Latest legal win and court ruling.Feb 2014.
12 February 2014
A DISABLED man and his wife are among the first in Wales to win an appeal against the controversial ‘bed-room tax’ after an Aberystwyth tribunal accepted that they needed separate bedrooms.
District judge Sarah Williams allowed an appeal against a county council decision to apply a two-bedroom reduction in housing benefits at the unnamed couple’s home.
Sitting on 14 January at a First-Tier Tribunal of the Social Entitlement Chamber, Judge Williams found that the application of the ‘spare-room subsidy’ - labelled the ‘bedroom tax’ by detractors - was “incompatible” with the European Convention of Human Rights, adding that, in this case, “there is no justification for the local authority reducing the eligible rent”.
Judge Williams found that one room in the couple’s home was an office not a bedroom, while - due to the man’s “severe disabilities” - “he and his wife cannot share a bedroom”.
The tiny 63-square-foot room was treated as a bedroom by the local authority in applying the new rules, but Judge Williams found that “it is too small to be occupied by an adult”.
Allowing that the couple needed separate bedrooms, Judge Williams also said the Maximum Rent Social Sector - used to calculate how the reduction in benefits is applied - “fails to treat some claimants, who for various reasons need an additional bedroom on account of various disabilities, differently from those who do not need an additional bedroom.” “This cannot be justified,” Judge Williams found.
Tony Hawkins of Disability Action Group Wales said later: “This is the first in the area certainly, and will be a real boost for those thinking of, or currently appealing. It’s tremendous, and I commend this couple for having the bravery to appeal.”
It is not known whether the DWP or the county council will appeal against the Aberystwyth decision.
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