Paul and Sue Rutherford and their grandson Warren, pictured in the living room of their house [Image: Aled Llywelyn/Athena].


Paul Rutherford is a reader and frequent commenter on Vox Political. This Writer would like to offer him hearty congratulations on his victory – as I hope all right-minded readers would.

I hope Paul will contribute a few words about his appeal, which I have offered to publish.

This result shows it is possible to make a difference, no matter what the ‘authorities’ might tell you.

The bedroom tax has been declared unlawful by the appeal court due to its impact on vulnerable individuals, dealing a significant blow to the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith.

Judges ruled that in two cases – those of a victim of extreme domestic violence and grandparents of a severely disabled teenager – the government’s policy amounted to unlawful discrimination.

The first case involved A, a single mother living in a three-bedroom council house fitted with a secure panic room to protect her from a violent ex-partner. The other was brought by Paul and Sue Rutherford, grandparents of Warren, who is seriously disabled child and who needs overnight care in a specially adapted room.

In both cases, the claimants faced a cut in housing benefit because they were deemed to be “under-occupying” the additional rooms which were classified as spare.

Campaigners welcomed the ruling and called on the government to change the rules to protect women who need special sanctuary schemes, and to give disabled children the same rights as disabled adults.

Source: Appeal court rules bedroom tax discriminatory in two cases | Society | The Guardian

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