Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Bedroom tax legal challenge dismissed in high court wall of resistance needed !

Today a high court ruling on the much hated bedroom tax was heard below i republish a article from todays Guardian on the matter. It is clear that legal route is one of th ways of defending ourselves but we cannot rely on the bourgeois courts and law to protect us. We must urgently organise mass resistance and solidarity in our communities including anti eviction armies to defend people under threat . "Ten families have lost their attempt to overturn the government's "bedroom tax" on the basis that it was highly discriminatory and contrary to article 14 of the European convention of human rights. Two judges ruled that courts should not "micromanage" policy decisions and that the provision of discretionary housing payments granted local authorities enough flexibility to deal with shortfalls in rent arrears. The new housing benefit rules took affect from April and mean that thousands of families have had to switch accommodation to meet either a 14% or 25% reduction in housing subsidies depending on whether they have one or two extra rooms. The 10 families, which include someone with spina bifida, brought the case to the high court in May arguing that the policy – which reduces financial subsidy for those considered to have one or more extra bedrooms than required – discriminated against those with disability. They have said that they will appeal against ]\the decision. However in their ruling, Lord Justice Law and Justice Cranston came down strongly against the secretary of state's inability to have set down other regulations following from a previous housing benefit challenge to payments made to families with disabled children in the private sector. In that case in March last year, judges founds that size critieria for housing benefit in the private sector could discriminate against disabled children who needed a bedroom each because of health needs. In their ruling today, judges said that the secretary of state was relying on "departmental circular" to implement policy ordered by the courts in March last year which was not sufficient. "The secretary of state has no business considering whether to introduce regulations to conform housing benefit provision with the judgment in Gorry. His is obliged to do so." In a statement from one of the three solicitors firms bringing the cases, Richard Stein from the human rights team at Leigh Day said: "This is a most disappointing result. We will be seeking an urgent appeal to the court of appeal. "Many people with disabilities including our clients may lose their homes unless the law is changed. Their lives are already difficult enough without the fear of losing their accommodation which has been provided specifically to meet their exceptional needs."

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