Disabled people remain the worst affected by bedroom tax

By agency reporter
September 13, 2019

More than two thirds of households subject to the bedroom tax under housing benefit are in receipt of a disability benefit.

In an answer to a Parliamentary question on 9 September 2019, the Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince confirmed that as at April 2019, there were:

  • 240,350 households in England who had a deduction made from their housing benefit due to the removal of the spare room subsidy.
  • Of these, 37,350 (16 per cent) had at least one person in employment and 48,350 (20 per cent) had at least one dependent child.
  • Additionally, in 170,360 cases (71 per cent) the claimant or partner was receiving disability living allowance, personal independence payment, employment and support allowance, incapacity benefit, or severe disablement allowance. It is not possible to ascertain the number of disabled people in each of these households.
  • Figures do not include claimants on Universal Credit (UC) with a removal of the spare room subsidy (RSRS) deduction, as these data are not currently available.

Disability Rights UK says the figures given by Mr Quince show that there has been no improvement on the situation the Government reported in October 2017, in that more than two thirds of households subject to the bedroom tax in Great Britain include a disabled family member.

Ken Butler DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Adviser said: “These latest figures show yet again that disabled people are worst affected by bedroom tax and welfare reforms.

"New research published just this month shows  that nearly half of disabled people hit by the benefits freeze have gone without essentials such as food and toiletries.

"The bedroom tax and other changes to the welfare system over the past decade have left disabled adults four times worse off financially than non-disabled adults.

"Discretionary Housing Payments are not the answer. They are insufficiently funded and create a postcode lottery for disabled people. The solution is the removal of the bedroom tax itself.”

* Disability Rights UK bedroom tax fact sheet here

* Disability Rights UK https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/

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