The Government has been accused writing a “blank cheque” to lawyers to mount legal defences of its so-called “bedroom tax” policy.
Yesterday the Court of Appeal ruled the controversial under-occupancy charge was unlawful and discriminatory because of its effect on a severely disabled teenager and a rape victim.
The Government instantly said it would appeal the decision at the Supreme Court, but Labour said ministers were wasting money on legal fees to defend a policy “that has failed in every regard”.
“Can the minister confirm there are 280 victims of domestic violence that have had panic rooms installed house under the Sanctuary scheme affected by the policy – and can he confirm that exempting those people from the bedroom tax would cost the Government a mere £200,000,” Owen Smith, shadow DWP secretary asked in the House of Commons.
“By comparison can he tell us how many hundreds of thousands of pounds he’s spent on legal fees defending this policy and how much more he’s prepared to spend? Is this a blank cheque to defend this to the end?”
DWP minister Justin Tomlinson, who was fielding questions for the Government, did not respond directly to the question.
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