Court rules against bedroom tax for those with disabilities

18 November, 2019


Councils will no longer be required to levy the bedroom tax in cases where it will breach an individual’s human rights - including cases where a person has severe disabilities.

This follows a ruling by the UK Supreme Court which found that the tax breached the human right to a home of a man whose housing benefit was reduced by 14%.

The man, known as RR, has a severely disabled partner and needs the additional bedroom to store medical equipment.

The unanimous decision will mean that at least 155 other partners of disabled people in the UK will have full housing benefit restored.

The court’s president, Lady Hale said: “The Human Rights Act is an act of the United Kingdom parliament and takes precedence over subordinate legislation such as the regulation in question … This means that incompatible subordinate legislation must simply be ignored.”

The case effectively picks up from that of Jayson Carmichael and his wife Jaqueline, who chose not to appeal a court of appeal ruling in 2018.

The ruling will have wider implications, as it bolsters the Human Rights Act by giving it primacy over secondary legislation – such as the bedroom tax – where it can be proven that it is in breach of the act.

The result of this could have an impact on other areas including employment and immigration.