Tuesday, 30 September 2014

DWP rules out changes to bedroom tax

The Department for Work and Pensions has insisted there will be no change to the bedroom tax following reports that Iain Duncan Smith has asked officials to look at how the policy will affect disabled people.

The BBC reported last night that the work and pensions secretary has asked officials to look again at how the bedroom tax will affect disabled people. This followed concerns from several charities that disabled people who cannot share a bedroom and carers would be penalised.

However the DWP press office tweeted last night: ‘No change in spare bedroom policy, as with all reforms we will monitor closely as it comes in this April.’ A spokesperson for the department today insisted there is no plan to change the policy but its impacts will be monitored.

Under the bedroom tax social housing tenants of working age with spare bedrooms will have their benefit reduced by an average of £14 per week. The government estimates disabled people make up 420,000 of the 660,000 hit by the policy.

A court of appeal ruling last May found that housing benefit rules for private renters discriminate against disabled people. The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 were found to be discriminatory because they do not allow benefit for an extra room where people cannot share because of disabilities. DWP is seeking to overturn the ruling, which lawyers warn could force changes to the bedroom tax policy.

Readers' comments (55)

  • michael barratt

    Article 25 of the United Nations Bill of Rights:

    Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

    Every recipient of social benefits receives a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions detailing their benefits' entitlement that is headed with the following words:

    "This is the minimum amount of money the Government says you must have each week taking account of specific circumstances."

    Since the above statement does not taken into account the bedroom tax, Councils imposing this fine on innocent tenants, will leave those affected with less than the minimum amount of money the Government says they must have each week. Surely they must be in breach of their tenants' human rights?

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  • Rick Campbell

    I am not surprised, disappointed, but not surprised.

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  • Chris


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  • Rick Campbell

    To make up for that :

    DWP has been just churning out spin in the past half hour – perhaps to encourage their acolytes and apologists to roll on t’interweb over the weekend?

    DWP Press Office @dwppressoffice

    Unlike old schemes #WorkProgramme doesn't pay large amounts up front. Payment by results means taxpayer VFM and better help for jobseekers

    DWP Press Office @dwppressoffice

    Jobseekers get 2 yrs of support on #WorkProgramme - in 18 months performance of #WorkProgramme providers already improving #PAC

    DWP Press Office @dwppressoffice

    #WorkProgramme has already helped more than 200,000 people into work, it is transforming tens of thousands of lives #PAC

    DWP Press Office @dwppressoffice

    No change in spare bedroom policy. As with all reforms, we will monitor closely as it comes in this April.

    DWP Press Office @dwppressoffice

    People should speak to their council for advice and eligibility for funding on spare bedroom housing benefit changes.
    DWP Press Office @dwppressoffice

    Councils given £155m in 2013/14 to help people affected, including disabled people who live in adapted properties.

    DWP Press Office @dwppressoffice

    There are over 250,000 households living in overcrowded accommodation. These are families that need more space.

    DWP Press Office @dwppressoffice
    Nearly one third of working-age social housing tenants on#HousingBenefit have spare bedrooms.

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  • Tenantplustwo

    It is shocking that this government seems content to leave some people with insufficient money to feed themselves. They our Verminous Toads Rampant, Barbaric disregard for human life

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  • Tenantplustwo

    Who our acting these people that act with such impunity and callousness. Appears to us now you taking a sadistic delight.

    We will not be exploited and downtrodden in this manner and we will no longer tolerance the "All your soft-soaked, spoon-feeding," and done absolutely nothing to alleviate our concerns

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  • Joe Halewood

    A few quick points:

    1. The BBC News at 6 report which contained this was in itself incredibly inept and biased

    2. at 7pm last night the DWP issued the tweet above

    3. On BBC News at Ten, the BBC ran the same piece it had done at 6pm saying that the issue was to be looked at again - 3 hours AFTER the DWP confirmed this was not the case.

    http://wp.me/p1vuvL-uz - states the bias, the ineptitude and the all round woefulness of the BBC coverage of this.

    Finally, think what the BBC gave out as an allegedly credible fact. IDS said the DWP, that is his department, that is him himself, would look again at this!!! Would any politician look again at a proposal to exempt 420k out of 660k households from the bedroom tax?

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  • Chris

    Nothing to do with the ultimate man in charge of the BBC i'm sure.

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  • @ Michael Barrat I have written to a LIBDEM MP today (At his request) a copy is here>> http://ktarcus.hubpages.com/hub/Letter-to-a-politician-LibDem-in-particular-BEDROOMTAX

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  • michael barratt

    I have read Kevin Leonard's letter and I urge you all to write to your MP certainly our Tory MP knows of our family name and how we feel about the bedroom tax.

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