New rulings could open the gates to tens of thousands of successful appeals against the Tories’ hated bedroom tax.
Tenants in Rochdale, Bolton and South Wales have recently won appeals against the bedroom tax on the grounds that their rooms are not used as bedrooms.
The rulings exposed the lack of clear definition of a bedroom in the law. Tenants can insist that landlords inspect their homes before charging them the bedroom tax for a second year.
A standard letter for tenants is available at bit.ly/1jL4Htg
Now minister Lord Freud is trying to wriggle out of a promise to people in supported housing. These include disabled people and people fleeing domestic violence.
Having pledged to protect them from “unintended consequences” of the bedroom tax and other benefit changes, he has now written that he has changed his mind.
One source told Inside Housing magazine that “the government was opposed to the move because creating more protections from the bedroom tax would cause political embarrassment.”
Coalition whips ordered MPs to abstain in a vote on a Labour motion to overturn the tax last week.
It was a desperate bid to avoid attention because the government is so isolated over the tax. But whatever parliamentary manoeuvres the Tories pull, the pressure to scrap the bedroom tax won’t go away.
The Benefit Justice Federation and bedroom tax campaigns across Britain have called protests against the tax on Saturday 5 April.