Remember when Iain Duncan Smith laughed with pleasure at putting a rape victim in fear for her life?
He had used the Department for Work and Pensions to persuade a court that she had to pay the Bedroom Tax on a panic room installed in her house to prevent further attacks against her.
As a result of the ruling, she was evicted from the house and Duncan Smith laughed with joy when he heard the news.
Since then, the people of Chingford and Woodford Green have re-elected him as their MP – thrice. They must be so proud of themselves.
But the last laugh is on him because the European Court of Human Rights has confirmed a ruling that the Bedroom Tax discriminates against victims of domestic violence.
Judges at that court ruled in October that the Bedroom Tax discriminated against the woman.
DWP lawyers tried to overturn the ruling by demanding that the case be heard in the court’s Grand Chamber – but have been rebuffed.
Now the hated ‘Department for Welfare Persecution’, as some have dubbed it, must pay the woman – a rape and assault victim – £8,600 for the “damage she suffered”.
And the victim’s legal team is calling for the government to make immediate changes to the Bedroom Tax rules, in order to make them comply with the ruling.
They say almost 300 more victims of domestic violence are in the same situation:
The department decided she and her 11-year-old son only needed two bedrooms – despite the third bedroom in the property being specially adapted by police to contain a panic room as part of a sanctuary scheme.
Research by the legal team representing ‘A’ found almost 1 in 20 households using the Sanctuary Scheme for people at risk of severe domestic violence have been affected by the bedroom tax, amounting to 281 households across the country.
Oh, and guess what?
The vast majority of people in the Sanctuary Scheme are women.
Once again we see the Conservative government discriminating against vulnerable women.
The DWP has said it is “carefully considering the court’s decision”.
In the light of all the historic evidence, we may conclude that the department’s lawyers are trying to find a loophole, so they can continue persecuting these women, who have already suffered enough.
Will we get an announcement? Or will current Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey try to brush this case under the carpet?
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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