Bedroom tax challenge for young people with care needs
- 19 May
Child Poverty Action is representing a couple in the High court arguing that the bedroom tax unfairly discriminates against children with overnight care needs.
Susan and Paul Rutherford from Pembrokeshire care for their thirteen year-old-grandson who suffers from a rare genetic disorder Potocki-Shaffer syndrome in a specially adapted three bedroom bungalow which includes a spare room for overnight carers to stay in.
Both of his grandparents suffer from disabilities themselves and struggle to look after him along, so paid carers stay overnight at least twice a week, reports Inside Housing.
Currently an adult tenant with disabilities who needs an overnight carer is exempt from the bedroom tax, however children with disabilities are not exempt.
The charity are arguing that this discriminates against disabled children contrary to article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and that there is no rational justification for the exclusion.
A DWP spokesman said: "We believe we have fulfilled our legal duties with this policy. We have made £345 million available to councils since the reforms came in as we continue to help people make the transition to the new system. The removal of the spare room subsidy is a fair and necessary reform. It will give families in overcrowded accommodation hope of finding an appropriately sized property and help bring the housing benefit bill under control. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time."
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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Sincere thanks to Michael Patterson for an excellent presentation on the HB Reform issues in Leeds last week, and for all the very helpful info and links. I do intend to respond on behalf of our organisation, Caring For Life, but feel that Support Solutions' response is excellent." E.S. - Caring for Life