Disabled tenants appeal housing benefit cuts
- 22 Jan
Last July they lost their High Court challenge to the government's spare bedroom subsidiary. Lawyers for the group say that the regulations applying in England, Wales and Scotland fail the needs of disabled people.
Since April last year, people seen to have one spare bedroom have had their housing benefits reduced by 14%, whilst those with two or more spare bedrooms have seen reductions of 25%, reports the BBC.
Opening the appeal is Martin Westgate QC who maintained that judges failed to scrutinise the government regulations properly.
He said: "If the High Court had applied the correct approach it would have been bound to have found the discrimination in these cases was disproportionate and imposed an excessive and unfair burden on a vulnerable class of tenants."
He argues that the scheme of discretionary payments worth £190m overall was not appropriate to replace "what would otherwise be a long-term benefit to which someone qualifies as of right".
A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: "We remain confident that we have fulfilled our equality duties to disabled people with the policy. Reform of housing benefit in the social sector is essential, so the taxpayer does not pay for people's extra bedrooms."
The tenants have the backing of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Originally the case involved ten families however five concerning disabled children have become exempt from the benefit changes.
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