Wednesday 12 February 2014

The Bedroom Tax is Dead

See here for essential background:
I’m happy to report that the Spare Room Subsidy or “Bedroom Tax”, the most oppressive and iniquitous financial assault since the Poll Tax, is now in a terminal crisis due to an irreparable legal loophole. This shows how the Tax wasn’t even thought through properly before it was introduced; it’s not only brutally unjust, it’s stupid. Iain Duncan Smith obviously panicked when his lords and masters told him to do it so he rushed the job! There have just been a number of successful appeals based on two very potent bases, see: You might be able to use both of them if you’ve been living in your property since 1996, but even if you haven’t the “bedroom use” basis is watertight. As this post explains, see:, the local authorities can only apply the subsidy to a bedroom. You may think this is a no-brainer, but it isn’t. How do you define a bedroom? A room with a bed in where somebody sleeps? But what if you appeal with a claim that nobody has ever slept in that room and it serves another function? Then it’s not a bedroom and so is not eligible for the subsidy. So if you’ve been hit by the Bedroom Tax, go back to the authorities and tell them you use that extra room in your house for storage, or as an exercise room, or and art studio; anything, it doesn’t matter. Of course this may well be a lie, but how do the local authorities prove that it’s a lie? They’d have to come and inspect your home. But this means, for example, they have to inspect over ten thousand premises in Liverpool; maybe more in other districts. No council in the country has the resources to do that. And even in the highly unlikely event that they do single you out, it wouldn’t be hard to make the room look temporarily used even if it isn’t. To reject your appeal they have to prove that the spare room is actually spare; how do they do that? As this third post points out, this makes the Bedroom Tax the equivalent of a lesser-spotted dodo, see: There is only one possible outcome for the Bedroom Tax now, its prompt and embarrassed repeal; the more people who throw their spanner in the works, the prompter and more embarrassing it will be.

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