New challenge to Bedroom Tax at supreme court

Paul, Susan and Warren Rutherford [Image: Aled Llywelyn/Athena].

Vox Political wishes success to all the challengers – not least Paul Rutherford, who is a commenter on This Blog.

The supreme court is to hear a legal challenge against the government’s bedroom tax from five people who argue it discriminates against the weak and vulnerable.

The five cases at the centre of the proceedings on Monday relate to people who have so far lost their cases at both the high court and court of appeal.

One challenge is that of Charlotte Carmichael, who has spina bifida. She lives with her husband in a two-bedroom housing association flat in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Her condition means she has to sleep in a fixed position in a hospital bed with an electronic pressure mattress. There is not enough space for a second bed so her husband sleeps in a separate bedroom.

When the new regulations were introduced the couple had their housing benefit reduced by 14%.

Another appellant is widower Richard Rourke, from Derbyshire, who uses a wheelchair. He is a council tenant and lives in a three-bedroom bungalow. His disabled stepdaughter used to live with him outside of university term times.

Rourke uses the third bedroom, which is a box room, to store his equipment, including a hoist for lifting him, his power chair and shower seat.

[Another challenger was mentioned at this point in the original article, but according to Paul Rutherford (below) this was in contempt of court so it has been excised from this excerpt.]

Mervyn Drage, from Manchester, occupies a three-bedroom flat in a high-rise tower block, and has lived there for 19 years. He suffers from mental health problems, and various physical problems.

His legal team say his conditions are exacerbated by stress, anxiety and changes to routine, and he is “very anxious about the prospect of having to move if his full housing benefit entitlement is not reinstated”.

Paul and Susan Rutherford, from Pembrokeshire, who won their case at the court of appeal – a ruling being challenged by the government at the supreme court – care for their severely disabled grandson, Warren, in a specially adapted three-bedroom bungalow.

They can only care for Warren with the help of paid carers who regularly stay overnight.

Lawyers say the current regulations allow for an additional bedroom if a disabled adult requires overnight care but not for a disabled child in the same situation.

The discretionary payments to cover their shortfall in rent run out next month, and their legal team says there is no guarantee they will continue.

Source: Disabled people challenge bedroom tax at supreme court | Society | The Guardian

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10 thoughts on “New challenge to Bedroom Tax at supreme court

  1. Mike

    The Courts have already deemed this reduction of social housing rents illegal?? bedroom tax discriminates against not just the disabled but people who are on benefits that are being forced to pay money to cover their rents, there have been horrifying stories about people who are going without basic food, gas and electricity in order not to to get into rent arrears and then lose their properties …something needs to stop this unlawful Tax on the Poor its outrageous

  2. Tim

    Honest to God! What kind of a government appeals against a decision made by a judge in respect to so obviously a worthy and wonderful family as this? Truly, truly shocking.

  3. mohandeer

    By now it is very evidenced that this particular government has adopted a discriminatory ideology based on what Hitler and Josef Mengele purported; namely that hereditary genetics would prove that certain people were superior to others. Churchill was another supporter of the work. As such Hitler adopted much of the Lebensraum ideology and implemented it – this Tory government has more than it’s fair share of Josef Mengeles’ and the poor, people of race and the disabled are their intended victims. I no longer believe that the divisive policies introduced by IDS and so many of the Tory parliamentarians is accidental or unrelated to previously hideous ideology, too many coincidences exist and the language used by Cameron has been deliberately toxic – just as it was when Hitler espoused it back in the 1933 – 38 rise of the Third Reich.

  4. John

    Obviously I wish them all the very best of luck, however I can’t help thinking (and please forgive me for saying this), wouldn’t it making the courts system look a bit stupid if the government win their cases in the Supreme court? I am praying of course that this doesn’t happen !

  5. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    My own opinion is that people born with golden spoons in their mouths are not fit to be in ministerial positions as they can have no idea what it is like to be born without even a spoon. They are almost always selfish and arrogant personalities, totally intent on maintaining their own unearned privileges and hate the thought of anyone else having a chance; and that includes the sick and disabled. There are just a very few exceptions but, as this government has proved, they are in the very great minority.

    1. John

      No disrespect intended to the other posters on here, but this is THE BEST COMMENT on here. Perfect! Couldn’t have put it better myself! 1 million percent agree with this!

  6. Mr.Angry

    The sick and the poor can’t fight back hence why this bunch of evil criminals pick on them, they are spineless every single one them that sports a blue tie.

    I wish all attending court the best of luck and let’s hope true justice prevails, how much has this ridiculous tax cost us all.

  7. julie Boylan

    BT which is paid out of a benefit which stated that “This amount is what the government consider you should receive to live on” didn’t /wasn’t meant to pay a fine for a property that you had no input into the amount of bedrooms you were given, the council’s decide what you get& you either accept or decline the offer. How can YOUbefined for something that wasn’t in your control?

Comments are closed.