Tag Archives: Bedroom Tax

DWP minister accidentally calls Bedroom Tax the ‘Bedroom Tax’

A millionaire government minister (the one who tried to blame charities for a rise in food bank use) put his foot in it yesterday — by using the term ‘Bedroom Tax’ instead of the usual Orwellian euphemisms.

Rather than using the government-approved phrases  ‘under occupancy charge’ or ‘spare room subsidy’ Lord Freud told peers yesterday:

“We will produce an interim report later this year, as I said, and we will bring forward next year the full report on what has been happening with the bedroom tax.”

Not his best performance.

Freud by name, fraud by nature …

Lord Freud: the minister who blamed charities for food bank use.

Official: Bedroom Tax is failure

Iain Duncan Smith

All you need to know about the Bedroom Tax:

1 July 2013:

Liam Byrne: Will the Secretary of State tell the House whether he thinks the bedroom tax is proving a runaway success?

Iain Duncan Smith: It is proving a success, because what it is doing—[Laughter.] No. What it is doing is finally shining a light on the previous Government’s failure to sort out the mess in social housing

28 March 2014:

New research reveals that the Bedroom Tax has failed to achieve its main objective of forcing victims to move to smaller homes. Employment minister claims hated policy is “not a failure”

At least they’re managing to deliver on Universal Credit … errr …

Iain Duncan Smith and DWP still in fantasy land on Bedroom Tax

Bedroom tax

Iain Duncan Smith has slammed the door on victims of the bedroom tax hoping to reclaim their charges for a so-called ‘spare bedroom’. A loophole in legislation underpinning the hated tax was closed yesterday after tenants claiming housing benefit continuously since before 1 January 1996 had been able to get their money back.

And with the drafting error just one of several monumental cock-ups plaguing the department, the DWP is still insisting that just 5,000 people were affected — in the face of counter-claims by housing experts.

This is odd to say the least with the news that 300 tenants have claimed back £214,000 in south Essex alone.

Don’t trust anything on DWP until it’s been officially denied.

Bedroom Tax fightback: judge rules dining room is NOT ‘spare’ bedroom

Iain Duncan Smith bedroom tax

A victim of the Bedroom Tax has struck a legal blow against the hated charge after officials wrongly claimed that his dining room was a ‘spare bedroom’. The news comes after countless vulnerable tenants have seen living and storage areas bizarrely reclassified.

As Scrapbook reported back in November, families have been left facing hardship after downstairs living areas have been suddenly designated as bedrooms. And in perhaps the most shocking case of its kind, even rooms reserved for medical purposes such kidney dialysis have been reclassified under Iain Duncan Smith’s policy.

But a judge in the case of an unnamed victim in Rochdale told a Bedroom Tax tribunal:

“On the evidence I am persuaded he has always used the second room as a dining room and regards the property as one-bedroomed.”

With the case brought with the aid of Citizens Advice Bureau, the ruling could open the floodgates to a mass rebellion against unfair reclassifications.

Coalition MPs refuse to defend Bedroom Tax in Commons vote

Bedroom tax

The Bedroom Tax has become such an embarrassing shambles for the government that only one MP was prepared to back the hated policy this afternoon.

With a non-binding ten minute rule motion condemning the charge, Tory and Lib Dem whips were engaged in a frantic effort to stop their members walking through division lobbies in support of their own policy.

The unpopularity of the tax — which hits many vulnerable residents with a charge for a ‘spare’ bedroom even if there is nowhere for them to move to — saw two Tories in (northern) marginal seats rebel.

It looks as though David Nuttall has already given up on Bury North.

Bedroom Tax: ministers’ U-turn on disabled/domestic violence exemption

  • Cock-up means disabled and domestic violence victims must pay
  • Lord Freud promised to fix error “at the earliest opportunity”
  • But ministers U-turn because it “would would be embarrassing

Domestic violence

The government has broken a pledge to exempt many disabled people and victims of domestic violence from the Bedroom Tax on the basis that introducing such dispensations “would cause political embarrassment”.

A drafting error in regulations meant that many vulnerable people in supported housing would have to cough up around £65 per month for a single “spare room” if their care provider was different from their landlord.

In April last year Tory minister Lord Freud wrote to stakeholders:

“It has recently been brought to our attention that much of the existing provision does not meet the precise definition of supported ‘exempt’ accommodation. This has, understandably, caused concern amongst providers.”

“We would like to make clear our intention to protect providers from any unintended consequences … Proposals will be brought forward at the earliest opportunity.”

But Inside Housing now reports that the government has quietly reneged on their promise. A source told the specialist publication:

“the government was opposed to the move because creating more protections from the bedroom tax would cause political embarrassment.”

As he did with users of food banks, perhaps millionaire Lord Freud should tell victims of domestic violence that their need for a refuge is “demand led”?

Bedroom Tax suicide victim ‘one of up to 20,000′ wrongly charged

Iain Duncan Smith

The number of Bedroom Tax victims due for a refund after a “technical error” meant they were wrongly charged the so-called under ‘under-occupancy penalty’ could be up to four times higher than Ian Duncan Smith told the Commons on Tuesday. The news comes days after it emerged that a woman who committed suicide over the policy would have been exempt.

Asked how many residents — mostly disabled people — are due a refund because they have been living in the same home and claiming benefits since 1996, IDS told MPs:

“We have already made it clear that the number is likely to be between 3,000 and 5,000″

But an analysis by the Chartered Institute of Housing based on a sample of cases suggests that between 6,500 and 12,500 tenants will be getting their money back. Housing solicitor Sam Lister claims the figure is even higher — a minimum of 15,000 to 20,000:

“It varies from place to place, but it can’t be as low as 5,000 or 6,000.”

With the DWP refusing to reveal how they arrived at their figures, IDS has been accused of “not having a clue” what is going on. Having blamed his permanent secretary, other departmental officials and IT companies for various cock ups on the Universal Credit programme, it is — of course – local authorities who are responsible for the current confusion on the Bedroom Tax:

“we will be clearer about that when the local authorities, which are responsible for collecting the data, come forward with the final facts”

It can’t be long before IDS says that bigger boys did it and then ran off.

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