Legal Action Against 'Discriminatory' Bedroom Tax

  • Three parents are the second group to raise legal action against the government for Bedroom Tax.

    The group, Liberty, says that the cut to benefits for having a spare room in social housing is discriminatory and a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    The reasons they have given for it being a breach of human rights is that the policy is discriminatory and will infringe on family life.

    This is the second time this month that the government have had to go to court over the bedroom tax; the first was a case put forward by ten children who were disabled or vulnerable for other reasons such as victims of abuse who would all be negatively and unfairly affected by the policy.

    They have all been assessed as needing their own bedroom, and yet under bedroom tax would be expected to share, or pay a financial penalty.

    The spare room policy is due to come into effect from 1st April; see more details about Bedroom Tax.

    Liberty are acting specifically on behalf of three people who will be negatively affected by the cut to their benefits, but say there are thousands more in the same situation who are being discriminated against:

    • Simon Cohen, from Gloucestershire, whose 12-year-old son lives with him four days a week in his two-bedroom house. Under the scheme his son will not be considered part of his household - his room will therefore be deemed ‘unoccupied'.
    • Mark Hutchinson, from Derbyshire, whose seven-year-old daughter and eight-year-old stepson reside with him at weekends and during school holidays.
    • Kim Cotton, from Hampshire, whose eleven-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son live with her every other week.

    Corinna Ferguson, legal officer for Liberty, said:

    Why is a government that prides itself on prioritising families penalising people merely for having children?

    In no way can these loving parents be accused of "under-occupying" their properties or having "spare bedrooms" - these rooms are very much their children's and home to many of their belongings.

     

     


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