In another week of controversy over the bedroom tax, one MSP said that DWP representative, Peter Searle spoke “claptrap” as he gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee.

Mr Searle suggested people affected by the measure could take in a lodger, move house, take up work or increase their hours, while MSPs responded that this was “nonsense.

There are simply not enough houses of a suitable size to downsize to, while in the present climate many of those in employment are underemployed and cannot get additional hours.  Others are prevented by tenancy rules from taking in lodgers.  Across Glasgow, the availability of one bedroom homes in the social sector comes nowhere near meeting demand.

This follows news that the Equality and Human Rights Council has intervened in a test case brought by 10 people with disabilities who are seeking a judicial review of the policy.

The Equality and Humans Rights Council have intervened because they believe that the bedroom tax could be viewed as discriminatory against disabled people, who make up a large number of those affected by under-occupancy rules.  Those whose condition prevents them from sharing a room with their spouse will be affected by the rule, as the policy only admits a spare bedroom if there is a requirement for overnight care by someone other than a family member.

GCVS will be following this case closely and will update our members when a decision has been taken.

Source: Evening Times