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Supreme Court to hear bedroom tax cases

The court will hear challenges from both the government and individuals on the controversial tax this year

29 February 2016

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The Supreme Court is to hear five challenges against the 'bedroom tax' levied against anyone receiving housing benefit, but has an extra bedroom.

All five cases involve people who suffer from a physical or mental disability, and have so far lost their cases in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

The High Court recently ruled the tax to be unlawful in the case of two vulnerable people, whom the court held were unlawfully discriminated against as the tax makes no provision for them.

The government is challenging the High Court's ruling in these cases at the Supreme Court.

The bedroom tax reduces housing benefit by 14 per cent for households with one extra bedroom and by 25 per cent where there are two extra bedrooms.

One of the five challenges has been brought by Jacqueline Carmichael, who suffers from spina bifida.

As a result of her condition, Mrs Carmichael must sleep on a purpose build bed, which means her husband has to use the extra bedroom.

The bedroom tax does not account for this type of situation, as a vulnerable adult is only allowed to have an extra bedroom for the use of a carer.

'It has caused us a lot of stress and heartache. We are having to think about it all the time and being depressed about it. It is fight after fight, case after case,' commented Jayson Carmichael.


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