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Tomorrow: support claimants taking court action against the bedroom tax

A vigil will be held tomorrow morning (9.30am) outside the Royal Courts of Justice in support of claimants taking a challenge against the Government’s ‘Bedroom Tax’ called by Camden United for Benefit Justice, Disabled People Against Cuts, Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, Taxpayers Against Poverty, and WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities).

The ten claims, made by a range of people affected by the Bedroom Tax which came into force from 1st April this year, will be heard together over three days starting on Wednesday 15 May.

Like two thirds of the 660,000 people affected by the bedroom tax nationally, claimants Jacqueline Carmichael and Richard Rourke are disabled people.

Jacqueline who has spina bifida is not able to share a bed with her husband and as there is not enough space in her bedroom for a second bed he sleeps in a second bedroom. The couple have been awarded a Discretionary Housing Payment to cover the 14% under-occupation penalty on their housing benefit that came in from 1st April but this payment will only last 6 months and they do not know how they will meet their rent when it ends.

Richard is a wheelchair user whose disabled stepdaughter lives in university halls of residence during term time. He uses his third bedroom to store equipment including a hoist, power chair and shower seat. He has had his housing benefit reduced by 25%, on the basis that he is under-occupying by two bedrooms but there are no suitably adapted properties for him to move to in either the social rented or the private sector.

The challenge comes less than a week after the Sunday People told the story of how disabled mother Stephanie Bottrill tragically took her own life after being ordered to pay an extra £20 per week under the government’s vicious bedroom tax.

Jamal Rosenberg from Disabled People Against Cuts said, “This unfair, unjust policy does more than affect disabled people, it targets them. The government knows that if everyone caught by this policy tried to move tomorrow they couldn’t because there aren’t enough smaller properties available and there aren’t adapted properties accessible to disabled people. To plough on in the knowledge of the destruction this policy will cause to lives and communities is heartless. We support the claimants taking the legal challenge but it is for all of us to fight back and say, this is not acceptable.”

For more information about the hearing:




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