It’s official … this government SUPPORT domestic violence!

Reposted from Inside Housing

Domestic violence victim loses High Court bedroom tax case.

A mother living in a domestic abuse ‘sanctuary scheme’ has lost her landmark challenge against the bedroom tax, in a blow to similar services across the country.

Claimant ‘A’ – whose identity is protected – lives in a property which has a special ‘panic space’ installed by the council.

The woman had her housing benefit deducted because the council considered her panic room to be a spare bedroom, although she has been receiving discretionary housing payment to cover the shortfall in her benefit.

She started High Court judicial review proceedings against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in May 2013, arguing that the bedroom tax is a discriminatory policy which will have severe consequences for her and her son.

In a judgement handed down on 29 January, which was summarised in a government bulletin on Wednesday, the court found in favour of the DWP.

The judge held that although the bedroom tax discriminates disproportionately against women, the policy has a ‘reasonable foundation’, according to the DWP bulletin summary.

A Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) survey in 2007 found that about half of England’s councils (171 of 354) were operating sanctuary schemes.

Figures obtained by a freedom of information (FOI) request to 79 councils in February last year show that since the bedroom tax was introduced in 2013, 281 households have been affected by the policy.

According to the summary, the judge commented that while it would have been helpful for parliament to have considered the effect of the policy on those living in sanctuary schemes, it was ‘not surprising that no reference was made given the relatively small numbers of people involved’.

Discretionary housing payments (DHPs) – funds to help claimants with their housing costs – are a ‘not irrational’ way to deal with issues arising from sanctuary schemes, it added.

The council – which is also unnamed – adapted Claimant A’s property because her life was deemed to be at risk from an ex-partner with a history of serious violence.

The home had a ‘panic space’ and a specialist ‘sanctuary system’ installed, which includes reinforced doors, electric alarms and alarms linked to the police station.

Claimant A has sought permission to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.

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11 Responses to It’s official … this government SUPPORT domestic violence!

  1. Pingback: It’s official … this government SUPPORTS domestic violence – glynismillward189 | Vox Political

  2. Reblogged this on aspiblog and commented:
    Another demonstration of just how callous and uncaring this filthy government of ours is…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yet another devastating indictment of this government’s policies. I have reblogged it on aspiblog and shared with my twitter followers on @aspitweets.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sdbast says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.


  5. Pingback: It's official ... this government SUPPORT domes...

  6. beastrabban says:

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    This is truly horrendous. It’s disgusting that a woman, who lives in such fear of a violent ex-partner that she has been forced to turn her house into a virtual fortress, should have her safety compromised through the government’s determination to punish the poor simply for living in council homes. This woman is not the only one. As the article reveals, there are 281 others.

    UKIP are notorious for their malign and ignorant views on domestic violence. It seems the Tories also share them. Some of us can still remember the ’70s when domestic violence and battered wives first became an issue. Clearly the Tories, Lib Dems and UKIP all want to turn the clock back before then, and deny that the problem even exists.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I just ask myself what possible savings there can be in cases like this. I am glad that this lady is seeking permission to take her case to the Court of Appeal but, my fear is, what if she has to move in the meantime, because she can’t afford the additional cost of the so called extra bedroom and the place she moves to does not have the additional safety features and something bad happens to her or her child as a result of that?


  8. Paul Smyth says:

    Reblogged this on The Greater Fool and commented:
    It’s hard for me to believe that the courts are really independent when they make decisions like this.


  9. This decision is wrong, however I know how the LA have managed it, because I rep these types of cases for tenants. Due to the fact she has the DHP the case was never going to win. Even though its extremely important for us to set precedents across our Nation, so others can benefit, the only cases that tend to win are the tenants who have no support via the DHP, or the DHP has been awarded for a very short time. Thus demonstrating how volatile it is in nature, because there is no guarantees the tenant will get it the 2nd 3rd or if very lucky 4th time. If the room in question didn’t have a window, like some of the panic rooms I know of, that would of helped. My heart goes out to the family x


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