Two victories have been won in the Court of Appeal against the bedroom tax.
A woman who was a survivor of abuse from her ex-partner and had a panic room fitted by the police, and was then forced to pay the bedroom tax on it, won her case; so did Sue and Paul Rutherford, taxed for the spare room used to store equipment for their disabled grandson and to allow carers to stay over.
Rather than give its victims some respite, the DWP will keep trying to overturn the verdict. The cost to the DWP of the legal fees in fighting the panic room case is several times more then it would cost to scrap the bedroom tax for all panic rooms.
Labour called a debate in parliament on scrapping the Bedroom Tax. Paul Rutherford has called on Tory minister Duncan Smith to resign. The government has already been forced to scrap the Bedroom Tax for foster parents and the parents of severely disabled children.
The Tories stick with their unworkable and vindictive policy because they aim to kill off social housing. They are also:
• forcing social housing rents up to market rates.
• abolishing all security of tenure for tenants.
• installing a “right to buy” for housing association stock, with no one-for-one replacement.
• planning to demolish “sink estates”, with no social housing replacements.
39% of Tory MPs are private landlords, and many others have family members who are also landlords. In London, a myriad of housing campaigns, often involving direct actions and supported by some union branches and left Labour MPs, have won notable but partial victories. To defeat the Tories and landlordism, we need sustained campaigns of rent strikes, squatting and protests on a mass scale across the country, backed by the Labour Party and unions.