No protection from Bedroom Tax for the vulnerable as it would cause ‘political embarrassment’


Vulnerable children and adults with disabilities or high support needs may be forced to pay the Bedroom Tax, despite protestations to the contrary by Lord Freud, after it was revealed that creating more protections would cause ‘political embarrassment’.

Current rules mean some supported housing is protected from the Bedroom Tax, benefit cap and the effects of Universal Credit (if a working version ever arrives) – but this accommodation is not exempted if the landlord is not the care provider or when the landlord is a local authority.

This means that, for example, supported housing provider Habinteg has 1,200 wheelchair-accessible properties for the disabled – but only 516 of them are exempt from the benefit changes.

Lord Freud, who is minister for social security reform, said last April that the DWP was working to ensure all supported accommodation would be protected from what he called the “unintended consequences” of the government’s changes.

Freud famously worked for Labour before the last general election, but turned against his former employers and switched his allegiance to the Conservative Party in 2009 – for which was rewarded with a peerage.

Now it seems the government has turned against him. According to Inside Housing, “in a letter sent to housing organisations… the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] said that while it still wants to protect supported accommodation from Universal Credit and the benefit cap, it no longer wants to protect non-exempt accommodation from the bedroom tax.

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

“Civil servants cannot change the exempt accommodation definition without also adding extra protections for the bedroom tax. This means all plans to protect non-exempt supported accommodation from welfare reform are on ice.”

Anti-Bedroom Tax campaigners recently discovered that people who had been living in social rented accommodation since before 1996, and claiming housing benefit for the entire period, were exempt from the Bedroom Tax.

But the latest development proves David Cameron’s protestations that the disabled were entirely protected from the Bedroom Tax were false and, instead of changing the rules to rectify the error, the DWP has made a worse liar of him.

How much humiliation is Cameron prepared to take before he curbs the excesses of this out-of-control organisation?

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25 thoughts on “No protection from Bedroom Tax for the vulnerable as it would cause ‘political embarrassment’

  1. vomsters

    We know he either lied in Parliament or was attempting to avoid admitting he didn’t have a clue about the legisaltion when he said that families with disabled children would be exempt. We know IDS had to scramble to make the necessary changes immediately afterwards rather than admit either scenario.

    Anyone who doesn’t think the severely disabled have been one of the main targets of this government has been deluding themselves. The biggest shock to them was that we weren’t the easy target they expected. Social media and the internet has allowed those of us who rarely see anyone outside our immediate families and carers to organise in a way that wasn’t possible even ten years ago. This is why Cameron wants to crack down on internet usage and how people use social media sites. Like most politicians who really don’t understand the internet (cos that just for geeks and porn, right?) they don’t have any grasp at all of how the internet actually works.

    1. Joseph Smith

      Vomsters, I agree with all your comments, Cameron in his suspect sales pitch trying to sell us the notion of preventing pornography being easily obtainable hid the real reason. He wants to limit easy cheap communication between the great unwashed (US) so that the people disadvantaged by his unfair policies virtually have no voice. He also wishes to protect his mass murderer friend Ian Duncan Smith, once again by making communication difficult is easy to hide the lies and crimes this foul corrupt government is committing. Good luck and keep going.

  2. Leoni Al-ajeel

    Bedroom tax should not exist in the first place, it was put into place to try and find larger homes for families without homes, but it has not worked at all, there is now lots of large properties empty that no one can afford. Also lots of homeless people waiting for 1 and 2 bedroom properties, so this bedroom tax has achieved nothing at all, except suffering and death. Political embarrassment indeed, I would be more concerned and embarrassed with the suffering this has caused.

  3. Thomas M

    Because Cameron’s son died, does he want to kill as many disabled people as possible? I didn’t cause the banks to crash, but I have to take the lion’s share of cuts.

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  5. jaypot2012

    Scared of being seen as an embarrassment? They have been an embarrassment since day 1.
    And I do believe that Cameron is punishing the disabled as his son didn’t live! You have to wonder just what would have happened if Ivan had lived?
    As for IDS, I wish on him all the disabilities that one person could get – and I hope it’s soon!

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    1. Mike Sivier

      Wales managed to avoid the extra expense of the conversely-named Council Tax Reduction Scheme last year, but that may not be possible again this time around. I don’t think there was enough money in Assembly bank accounts to fund the Bedroom Tax too.

      England had no chance.

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