Humiliation for DWP after years-long Bedroom Tax bid to persecute a rape victim

He laughed: Remember, IDS laughed at the terror he was causing a rape victim by using the Bedroom Tax to make it too expensive for her to keep a ‘panic room’. The man thrives on terrorising others.

I said it defied belief when this story first broke.

And I said it was sickening when, hearing of the terror he was causing a rape victim by using the Bedroom Tax to make it too expensive for her to keep a ‘panic room’, Iain Duncan Smith laughed.

Well, it seems the last laugh is on him.

This is a story that began in 2014 – the DWP has been torturing a rape victim for five years.

The woman, resident in a three-bedroom property with her 11-year-old son, has been the victim of rape, assault, harassment, stalking and threats to kill at the hands of her former partner.

Her council home was fitted with a secure panic room to protect her from this violent man.

A women’s refuge charity spent thousands of pounds at her property reinforcing window frames and the front door and making the back garden more secure. A panic space was installed, with alarms linked to the police station.

Then Iain Duncan Smith’s Department for Work and Pensions imposed the bedroom tax on it, claiming it was a spare room.

The woman’s housing benefit was reduced by 14 per cent because of the bedroom tax policy.

Hers was among almost one in 20 households benefiting from similar sanctuary schemes for people at risk of severe domestic violence that have been affected by the under-occupancy penalty.

Unable to afford her rent with the added burdn of the under-occupancy charge, the woman was facing eviction when Labour raised the issue in Prime Minister’s Questions. Then-incumbent David Cameron said money was available for people in such a predicament.

And Mr Duncan Smith? He laughed about it. He thought it was funny that a woman who had been raped was being turfed out of her sanctuary against further violation.

The lady concerned – who has only ever been identified as ‘A’ – took the DWP to court – and won. The Court of Appeal ruled that the imposition of the bedroom tax was unlawful and discriminatory.

So the DWP appealed against the decision in order to force her to pay the charge anyway – or be evicted.

And the Supreme Court – to its shame – allowed it.

So the case ended up before the European Court of Human Rights*, challenging the breach of A’s rights and “other vulnerable women whose lives are at risk”.

Almost three years after her Supreme Court humiliation, judges ruled that the benefit cut discriminated against a domestic violence victim who was forced to pay extra for her panic room.

The UK’s Tory government has been ordered to pay the woman 10,000 Euros (£8,600) for the “damage she suffered”. If only it could come from Iain Duncan Smith’s salary.

Lawyers have now demanded the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) act to help almost 300 women estimated to be in a similar situation.

Clearly, considering the length of time it has taken to resolve this case, nobody should hold their breath waiting.

All the way back in 2014, Polly Neate, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “On average two women every week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales. Protecting abused women and their children is a matter of life and death, and we should always remember this.”

Iain Duncan Smith couldn’t care less at the time, and none of his successors have shown any change in attitude since.

Isn’t it time we stopped them from abusing anybody else?

Source: DWP Bedroom Tax dealt defeat in European Court of Human Rights – Mirror Online

*Not to be confused with the EU’s European Court of Justice.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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4 thoughts on “Humiliation for DWP after years-long Bedroom Tax bid to persecute a rape victim

  1. trev

    Finally this woman gets justice. As for Iain Duncan Smith, what can I even say? What a disgusting piece of filth that man is.

  2. Dan

    The DWP can appeal, of course. A DWP spokesman said: “We are carefully considering the judgement.” Somehow I doubt that this case is over yet…

  3. Rik

    Poor woman. . it’s probably cost more than it has saved going thru the courts etc. . maybe IDS can think of a legal way into which she can be taken thru the courts again & backdate it.. I remember when Owen Jones was talking to him re the deaths of victims when he (IDS) snapped “I’ve had enough of you” etc. . . while talking about the deaths, yes deaths on his watch..
    Truly evil to the last. . .

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