Thursday, 26 September 2013

Bedroom tax defeat for Westminster council in landmark case

Barrister Surinder Lall, who is blind, wins appeal as his spare room stores essential equipment and has never been a bedroom

A housing association tenant in central London has won an appeal against the imposition of the bedroom tax by Conservative-run Westminster city council, in what is thought to be the first such victory in England.

Surinder Lall, who is blind, argued successfully to a tribunal that a room in his flat classified as a second bedroom had never been used as one and had always been where equipment helping him to lead a normal life was kept.

In his decision notice, the judge wrote: "The term 'bedroom' is nowhere defined [in the relevant regulations]. I apply the ordinary English meaning. The room in question cannot be so defined."

Friday, 13 September 2013

Anonymous Million Mask March UK

Nick Clegg Confronted By Disabled Woman On #BedroomTax

Nick Clegg was left stuck for words after being confronted by a seriously ill lady who is being hit by the Bedroom Tax. 

Karen in Basildon phoned in to Call Clegg to complain about the Spare Room Subsidy, which means that she is paying £16 per week extra, despite needing the extra room for her oxygen concentrators.

She has been told she should move the devices to her bedroom, but insists they are so loud, they would stop her and her husband sleeping. 

 Unfortunately I can’t find the specific clip, only the whole half hour show on Youtube, but this call is about 17 minutes in.

Monday, 9 September 2013


A Kirkcaldy Benefits Tribunal has made a judgement which opens the way for hundreds of thousands of appeals, and which drives a coach and horses through the ConDem Coalition’s hated Bedroom Tax.

In an appeal against Fife Council’s decision that a tenant of what the landlord said was a three-bedroomed property had to pay for ‘under-occupying’ two bedrooms, the Tribunal judge ruled that the property in question in fact had just one bedroom, and the tenant was not liable for any bedroom tax.

The judge also ruled that the Council must refund the tenant all the housing benefit it had deducted since its original decision. 

Crucially the judgement also makes clear that a council:

cannot make a reliable bedroom tax decision on the assumption that data submissions from a landlord on bedroom numbers are correct;

must know the room purpose and usage as at the time it makes the benefit tax decision for that decision to be reliable;

must consider not just room size in making a decision but also usable floor space.

The process in determining bedroom tax liability across Merseyside was no different from that adopted by Fife council: every bedroom tax decision made by Wirral, Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley and Halton councils is therefore arbitrary and rife for challenge and must be appealed by every affected tenant.

Merseyside Federation will continue its work to ensure that tenants know they have both a right and a responsibility to appeal against this vicious attack on the poor.

Now we know why they're called the Cons

Anther one from Shirley

The Rise of the Food Bank

From Shirley on twitter