DWP Forced to Repay Disabled Victims of Labour’s Bedroom Tax

bedroom-tax-protestIn a humiliating blow for both Labour and Iain Duncan Smith, the DWP has admitted that local councils will have to pay back-dated housing benefits to some families with disabled children who were hit by the private sector Bedroom Tax.

A letter from the DWP to Local Authorities published on the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) website gives full details: http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/urgent-news-for-parents-of-disabled-children-renting-in-private-sector-money-back-from-dwp/

Labour shamefully introduced the bedroom tax for private sector tenants with the emergence of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) which replaced much of the housing benefit system.  This is the same Labour who have attempted to hijack the campaign against the despised bedroom tax for social housing tenants. In at least Birmingham and Liverpool they were told exactly where to go at yesterday’s protests.

Under the LHA rules, parents with a disabled child renting in the private sector, and who needed an extra room for an overnight carer, had money deducted from payments towards rent.

Iain Duncan Smith had fought hard to try and extend this to social housing tenants as part of the latest bedroom tax.  However along with other concessions to the vicious tax, which will now exempt some foster carers and parents of children in the armed forced, he recently announced a climb down.

This was not due to a sudden attack of conscience on Iain Duncan Smith’s part, or any compassion for disabled children.  The change is down to a case brought before the Court of Appeal by Burnip, Trengove and Gorry last year.  The judges unanimously agreed the housing benefit regulations discriminate against disabled people, because they do not allow for an additional room to be paid for where a disabled person has a carer, or where two children cannot share a room because of disability.

Iain Duncan Smith had planned to appeal the judgement to the Supreme Court, but now seems to have relented.  This is hardly surprising after his workfare regulations were recently slammed by courts and judged unalwful.  In the case of workfare, IDS is attempting to change history by introducing a bill before Parliament on Tuesday which will back-date the law and make a mockery of the Judiciary.

It seems that re-writing history twice in one week is too much for even the Secretary of State however and the DWP has contacted Local Authorities warning them they will have to repay some benefits reduced due to the private sector bedroom tax.  This comes along with a confirmation – although the exact situation remains unclear – that some families with disabled children will not be affected by next months changes.

This will only affect a fraction of a percentage of the families who will see already meagre benefits slashed when the bedroom tax begins in just over two weeks.  But for some tenants at least it is an important victory and a testament to the determination of the families who pushed the case through the courts.

It is also a timely reminder of Labour’s dirty little bedroom tax secret that they hoped we’d forget as they exploited claimant’s poverty for their own party political ends.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

38 responses to “DWP Forced to Repay Disabled Victims of Labour’s Bedroom Tax

  1. He is proposing to have ‘retrograde’ legislation in parliament on Tuesday, which would eliminate the refund….get back to guys , it not over.

    • different case, this is the bedroom tax for disabled children, not benefit sanctions due to workfare (it does kind of say that in the post)

    • The refund is crazy, they should just scrap the bedroom tax right across the board, it’s insane and laughable.. why should people today be persecuted by Maggie’s sell off of social housing years ago which allowed so many properties to fall into peoples hands cheaply, at the time it seemed good but most people even then could not afford to buy, only those who were heading towards retirement with good pension status or had well paid jobs had the money sloshing around to take up the offer, maybe at the time she wanted to encourage the yuppies in the making. This refund is just another diversion tactic… it’s all smoke and mirrors as we know from this coalition.

    • And if that falls through, he’ll cut the Welfare budget for everyone else to make the poor turn on each other.

  2. Will IDS threaten to cut the welfare budget again, to compensate the families who have lost out financially in the PRS.
    Once IDS has exempted certain groups ie disabled children, existing foster carers & some army personnel from the bedroom tax, that will leave the disabled adults, the sick, the unemployed and the low paid earners, who will still have to pay it, the public were keen to fight to protect the former groups,
    the brainwashed public will have no sympathy for, the latter ones, as the govt has done a great job of classing them as lazy scumbag benefit scroungers, great strategy from this govt , the working class fighting the working class. I FUCKING HATE IDS

  3. It’s time to scrap this bedroom tax completely and that means also right across the private sector, let us not forget the evil’s of Labour for doing it in the first place when private sector renting is by far more expensive than social housing rates and tenants get little if any protection from greedy landlords on assured shorthold tenancy agreements, usually the six months expires so if there is no other fixed term agreed this turns into what is known as Periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy, and under section 21 of the relevant legislation landlords can give tenants 2 months notice to vacate the property they may be renting.

    For too long private sector tenants have suffered quietly before all this coalition circus came into being, this is not an issue that just suddenly appeared out of thin air, it’s been brewing for quite some time but it’s only now it’s threatening to hurt people in social housing that thankfully it’s getting the attention it rightly deserves, more people will be forced into the private sector housing and this will often mean they may not get all their rent covered by HB so have to make up the shortfall due to councils being very unrealistic regarding regional private sector rental rates, the bedroom tax has been there for quite some time for these people.

    Let us drill deeper down into this and present a possible scenario… A person in a joint tenancy with a relative who is carer for them because they might be mentally and/or physically disabled renting in the private sector, suddenly the carer dies leaving them alone with the legacy of the home contents and little more. The benefits department of the council are informed of the change in circumstance and they reassure the person their rent will be covered, BUT one year after the death of their loved one they cut their HB and that person must find the shortfall… okay fair enough one may think but they are one person then in a two-bedroom property being bedroom taxed.

    Under these circumstances it might be fair to think a person in that position may be in receipt of DLA.. but many may not be on the high components or even in the ESA support group, or might be fighting to get their feet on the ground in order to create a life beyond the constraints of benefits much less having to worry about if they have a roof over their head one month to the next. The reality is this coalition is putting hurdle after hurdle in peoples paths when in many cases they are seeking to be good citizens and get beyond a life of benefit dependency or at the very least require less.

    The government is forging the very rods for the backs of the mentally and physically disabled along with the unemployed in one hand whilst pointing the finger with the other hand and creating their twisted policies and fascist propaganda to increase the despair further from those who would have no idea what It can be like to live on lonely benefit reliance and increasing social persecution. This is not how democracy works in a so-called caring country who still in the shadow of financial constraint will put their hands in their pockets for those less fortunate for events like Red Nose Day.. that is great.. but governments can still find billions for foreign aid to countries who themselves now provide aid! and do not need the money but continue to get it albeit ending in the future.. why not now/?.

    So much of taxpayers money is wasted by this coalition it makes the welfare bill seem like a drop in the ocean, it’s all too easy to bully people who cannot fight back or have no voice socially or politically, they do it because they know they can get away with it for the mere price of a few protests that seldom changes their course of action because it ultimately comes down to the greater percentage of society being affected such as Maggie’s Poll Tax, let us not forget that was the same cynical woman before she came to the lofty position of female PM who scrapped school milk.

    The Tories have a long history of petty policy making as does labour.. we must not forget that, I’m no big labour fan or even a tory wet but it’s this climate which created the scenario we face today.. indecision, no clear party to hang your vote on.. so Cameron gets it by default and slips through the backdoor of no.10 whilst the lib-dem’s sell out their voters and leap-frog labour and get into bed with the Tories in order to taste government in the only way they were likely to.. under the banner “We did it for the Country for good stable government”, I would hate to see what unstable government is… maybe this country will be foolish enough to give them another four years to complete this crazy form of quasi social class genocide.. we know it’s going to happen if people become too lazy or are simply jacked up on alcohol and wacky baccy to take their worries away.

  4. I just do not see what is wrong with anybody having a spare room. We are social animals. We do not live in isolation. We all have friends and family so what is wrong with having somewhere for them to stay over if they so wish. It is also a good place to keep the stuff that we may collect on lifes little journey. A house is not just a house it is somebodies HOME. I could go on……. The Bedroom Tax (Underoccupation Benefit Reduction or whatever) is jjust an attack on the poorest and most vulnerable in OUR society.

    • The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they’re an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They’ve got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying ­ lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.”

      “But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

      “You know what they want? Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they’re coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club.”

      “This country is finished.”

    • It has a slavery smell to it.

    • It’s just an excuse for them to claw money back… cut! cut! cut!, it’s the Tory Mantra and it seems so many of the coalition are dancing to the chancellors beat and the chancellor is no dancer. Fact is in extreme circumstances of a person who might be mentally or physically disabled in say a two-bedroom property, even if they don’t have a live-in carer they may need a spare room for a relative to stay for periodic care.. where do they sleep?… on the sofa?, if you have somebody to stay over.. again is it the sofa?… reality is this coalition has jettisoned dignity and the desire for people to contribute to society by stripping away the very means for them to have a dignified and constructive life… next it will be all people in single bedroom properties must downsize to a bedsit, that might be okay for a teenager starting out away from home or some drunken yahoo who cares for nothing or society. All we can do is just get this damn coalition out of power, we need Cameron on the opposite side of the house at the very least so we don’t have to keep listening to his patronising platitudes.. they are lectures and not speeches. I also hate how when all else fails they simply blame labour for the mess, I bet more of the greedy bankers who were responsible from the golden gutter were Tory supporters than labour. The country has paid a high price in the desire to get rid of Gordon Brown as PM, kind of chucked the baby out with the bath water… sometimes when there is little option it’s better the devil you know but come next election this is one devil few people except either 1.Rich 2.Middle class business people or 3.Inverted snobs would ever want to know.

  5. Pingback: DWP Forced to Repay Disabled Victims of Labour's Bedroom Tax | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  6. George Carlin (RIP)

    George Carlin (RIP) — The Owners

  7. George Carlin (RIP)

    George Carlin (RIP) — The Owners (audio)

  8. stan

    I totally agree with your comments with regards to people having the right to have a spare bedroom for all sorts of reasons i,e,
    absent parents who only get access to their children holidays and weekends.
    singles or couples without children, which has very little storage space and drying space for clothing etc in bad weather,small kitchens etc.no garden.
    Those whose families have grown up still have grandchildren staying with them at weekends etc.also need extra bedrooms.

    The fact that housing has been hijacked by the green lobby who tell you there are land shortages,(despite the fact that vast amounts of land are in the hands of few people), therefore only shoebox size homes are built for the working classes who are stuck on low incomes and benefits.

    Dargon’s den ‘s businessmanTheo paphitis on question time last Thursday called for the bedroom tax to be scrapped because with so many u turns the reduced revenue will not be worth the upset for those forced to move and are least able to pay, plus there are no properties for them to move to.

    Calls for the private sector,( where all of this categorizing of people was allowed to begin in the first place , to stop the restrictions on renters having extra bedrooms) is a step in the right direction, but it would mean that more in housing benefit will be paid to the private sector as a result.
    What is really needed is for the private sector to reduce their rents.

    Finally labour who implemented this policy left out of their equations the largest sector over occupying and that is pensioners (for their own political benefit),not that I want pensioners to be forced out of their homes any more than they do. but housing associations themselves changed social housing to private homes to buy, creating the shortage of rented properties.
    Discrimination against those with extra bedrooms of working age by reducing their housing benefits was an absolute disgraceful policy, which I condemned again from it’s inception when implemented in the private sector and will be glad to see the back of it.
    The only real answer is to build two bedroom properties with plenty of storage space so that people can have friends, relatives etc to stay and be as Stan said social beings once again, instead of trying to split up families by restricting their living space.

    • Social housing units are built to rabbit hut specifications, you find a lot of bedrooms are used merely as storage space, some “bedrooms” can barely accommodate a bed. It is not like the victims of this “bedroom tax” are living in great big sprawling mansions surrounded by acres and acres of estate. Not everyone lives like Lord Fre(a)d the architect of this iniquitous, cruel, and unjust penalty.

    • Also spare a thought for the under-35 whom because of the changes to Housing Benefit introduced by the Con/Lib (yes, you Nick Clegg, you yellow-bellied piece of slime) Government are even entitled to ONE bedroom, fully-grown adults expected to live in bedsits. Outrageous!

    • Quote “What is really needed is for the private sector to reduce their rents.”

      What is REALLY needed is for wages to increase inline with the inflation of living costs.

    • guy fawkes. Yes. The other group that are going to be hit are disabled people that have had modifications done to their homes in order to make them liveable. What are they supposed to do, move and have the modifications done again in their new accommadation – if they can find somwhere suitable. An excellent way to save money on the welfare bill (not).
      I think that ( as the govt know) most people will take this ugly tax on the chin and not move. Which is why it is a “Bedroom Tax” despite what the government say. It is a punishing tax on people that scrape by on the most meagre of resources. The way to beat it is to unite. Cant Pay, Wont Pay.

  9. Rosemarie Harris

    I only have one home it’s where i live,How many homes do each M.P have? How many bedrooms are they using in each home and who is paying for them Oh wait it’s …….Tax payers.
    How many people are going to be suffering because of M.P’s and their stupid voting for things they know little about. If the unemployed get into debt because they don’t have the cash for this Tax and are offered a job some jobs require a credit check.when you need BT business services they do a credit check on you can you imagine are you are going to the job or even the service. This all because someone in Scotland pissed of “laughing boy”(I.D.S) years ago and what ever they said to him stayed within and made him regress into a spoiled stupid twat to where he is taking it out on people he thinks can’t fight back if we all stand united don’t let them pick us off one by one, the concessions are for a reason stand firm.Get organised a few people in each street/block decide who’s doing what/when Etc.
    When this tax comes in we have to be prepared.
    Look at what Scotland did when the poll tax was introduced this is where we have to learn from!
    Can’t pay won’t pay.

  10. And lets think critically about these Neo Rachman Buy – To – Let Rentier classes for a moment
    Remember the Labour housing prices economic bubble? Id wager these buy to lets were bought just below market value, around Manchester at least on a mortgage of around say £300 – £350 per month?
    These then rent out to us poor saps for £450 – £475 per month, factor in Estate agents cut, maintenance, covering cost of damages that some subhumans leave the places in when they get evicted -and ive seen the results of that with my own eyes on more than one occasion…
    It’s hardly a killing unless they are Charlie Big time with a large Portfolio?
    Looks like the Banks again, eh, are the real beneficiaries of Housing Benefits

    • Plato's Republic

      The banks have it all stitched up; they have it all worked out to the finest detail; you can borrow money for buy-to-let but by the time you factor everything in you make £0, in fact you will probably, and this goes on for 10 years. You can’t beat the banks, they are not stupid, the are actually very, very clever, they rob us left, right and centre and we do… well nothing. Agree, you will find the “astronomical” Housing Benefit Bill is winging it’s way to the bank, it is a complete and utter piss-take, we (general population) are just being laughed at.

  11. ulysses

    It is high private sector rents that are pushing social sector rents up to match them, and I don’t believe landlords as well as the banks are not making a killing in the rachman buy to lets. Yes theworking class defo need higher incomes but inflation needs curbing too starting with rent controls in the private sector.

    • Yes, they are financially rewarded, it would be pointless otherwise, but I don’t believe unless renting in near industrial scales they are making the massive sums portrayed

      The moral side of this argument of buy to let profiteering is something entirely different and I think we all know my stance there

      We are damned both ways now, the option of fighting your way on to a social housing list to try and keep you and yours financially treading water has now gone. Your income will go, in the majority, to keeping those tiles above your head regardless of how you come by your income, and for most of us that means reliance on housing benefits

      The cost of rents on Private sector used to be purely driven by market forces, when I got home in 2007 I understood that and took it on the chin, a council property was a pipe dream, but worth getting your name down for. So private it was, with your fingers crossed while filling in Bolton At Home every Wednesday

      But now, the only advantage I see is slighter better tenancy agreement and keeping the money out of the hands of Rachman.

      I’ve now let my place on social housings list slip, its a fucking pointless exercise, even suffering in a hostel saw no advance up the list, and you was promised prioritisement after 14 weeks, just got more bullshit as to why you should just hang on a couple of weeks longer before they send your case for priority
      Bobchewie will confirm the hellhole those places are, so I redoubled my efforts to get out, and unfortunately it meant getting back in to bed with Rachman

      I stand by my earlier statement wages are a fucking joke, but I will grant you it’s the political failure of allowing the housing bubble to get out of hand that has made this so

    • That already happens in many cases because there is a strict cap upon how much a person who rents in the private sector is likely to get in say HB, if the landlord in one year raises the rent from say £420 to £520 they will not get a penny more and even at £420 they would most likely be having to top it up themselves by other means, we are talking one-bedroom whilst this rent in some regions would actually afford people a 2-bedroom property but in others it would be unlikely to get you a shoebox to live in. There does need to be changes but ultimately it’s the old saying, if one tenant cannot afford the rent there is always another that can or they just sell. The above example would also in many cases apply if the landlord increased the rent by a mere £20 per year. For many people it’s like swimming against the tide to retain the property they rent because they know there is nothing out there for them to move into that is likely to be cheaper based on their individual needs and within their financial constraints, above is an average figure for a two-bedroom and in some areas a one-bedroom, it’s one big massive web.

  12. “The rent is too damn high for minimum wage workers in every state”


  13. How I have fought people recently who will not see that LHA was a ‘bedroom tax’ – they adamantly state that only Local Authority tenants have been bedroom restricted.

    It was the same rule, you have an extra room, regardless whether you need it for a carer etc, you will pay…

    Thanx JV

  14. It’s not really true that the private sector bedroom tax was introduced with LHA. Private sector housing benefit has always had restrictions in place for properties with more bedrooms than the tenant ‘needed’.

    • There was greater freedom for ‘living rooms’ for larger families and payments were much more localised and flexible meaning it was easier to find a larger place – money wasn’t automatically deducted if you did. LHA set fixed rates at bottom half of market for whole areas with no valuations of individual properties, old housing benefit system was still shit, LHA just made it more shit.

  15. Annos really appreciate that link, I remember reading about Gordon Brown, when chancellor, taking mortgages out of the equation when calculating inflation to make it look like inflation was not as high as it was, yet rents were rising year on year. quantative easing is helping those with mortgages but is not keeping rents low, it’s a win win for indebted landlords.
    If the low paid were paid more in their wages up would go inflation and that would hit those on benefits who have a 1% inflationary cap on their benefits. So a lose lose situation.

    • The worse thing for those of benefits and fixed incomes would be rampant “wage inflation”; they would be completely left behind. Truly “scary”.

  16. Pingback: DWP Forced to Repay Disabled Victims of Labour’s Bedroom Tax | Disability Issues | Scoop.it

  17. but there is an housing law 1985 section 326 about the size of bedrooms less then 70sq ft is only fit for an half person ie a child under 10yrs of age but council are not using this law please if your room your child under 10 and your room or rooms they seep are this size please please make a complaint to your council or mp

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