Join our campaign as MPs debate bedroom tax today
Wednesday 17th December 2014
Today MPs will debate on the bedroom tax. Labour, who called the debate, want the rules scrapped.
In addition, a new Upper Tribunal decision in Scotland found that just because a room has a smaller floor size than that used to determine overcrowding, it does not necessarily mean that it can't be treated as a bedroom for housing benefit. Other factors, like the height of the room, ventilation and natural lighting, need to be taken into account.
Earlier this year, a number of tenants had successfully appealed cuts in their housing benefit by arguing that their 'spare room' was too small to count as a bedroom. However, this new ruling will be binding on other similar cases in Scotland and is also likely to be followed in England and Wales, where legislation is similar.
Campaign with us on bedroom tax
As part of our Counting the Costs campaign, we're calling for the size criteria rule to be amended to allow for the costs of an extra bedroom where this is required as a result of a disabled child's condition.
Our Counting the Costs research shows that nearly one in ten families with disabled children are still affected by bedroom tax or similar rules in the private rented sector. 38 per cent are experiencing a cut to their housing benefit of more than £25 a week.
The research also shows that the vast majority (80 per cent) of families with disabled children who applied for discretionary housing payments had been turned down.
Families who need an additional room due to reasons connected to their child's disability should not be penalised for this fact. They should receive help with the costs of that additional room as a right and not have to rely on a discretionary form of support.