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Our response to bedroom tax appeal court judgement

21 February 2014

Disability Rights UK are dismayed by the appeal court’s judgement on the bedroom tax.

Disability Rights UK are dismayed that the Court of Appeal has decided to uphold last year’s judgement of the High Court that the housing benefit regulations are lawful.  Although the judges found that the regulations discriminate against disabled people because of the need for larger accommodation to meet needs they ruled that the Government had put in place sufficient measures to mitigate against discrimination and, whilst discrimination against disabled children was unlawful, against disabled adults (even those in the same situation as children) such discrimination could be justified.

Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK said

“This really is a most extraordinary decision.  It drives a coach and horses through equality legislation and the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People which has been ratified by the UK.”

Commenting on the Government’s mitigating factors Liz Sayce said’ “We know that discretionary housing payments are not routinely offered to disabled people facing the bedroom tax.  Where discretionary housing payments are agreed it is usually on a short term basis only leaving disabled people fearful that they will not be able to pay their rent in a few months time and may face eviction.  What has to be understood is that disabled people have been allocated social housing that meets their needs and, in most cases, there really is nowhere else to move to.”