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A disabled couple have gone to the High Court to take legal action against the Government's so-called bedroom tax.
They claim that the new housing benefit regulations coming in next month are discriminatory.
As part of welfare reforms, people in social housing will see their benefit cut if they have a spare bedroom.
Sejal Karia reports:
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith recently insisted "There is no bedroom tax' during an appearance on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.
He explained: "This is about under-occupancy, let's be very clear about what this is about. We have in social sector housing, a very large number of people in houses where they have many more bedrooms than they actually need.
"Something like a million spare bedrooms are sitting around. Meanwhile, there are a quarter of a million people in overcrowding and a million people on the waiting list trying to get into housing."
Mr Duncan-Smith said the government wants people who are under occupying their homes to move to smaller properties or pay more.
"What we're saying to them is you can stay where you are, but if you do you'll have to pay more. Exactly the same people in the same criteria who rent under in the private sector and get housing benefit are not allowed to have extra bedrooms".
Lisa and Brett live in a two bedroom house in Essex, Lisa has cerebral palsy and Brett is her partner as well as her full-time carer.
Lisa's condition gives her spasms, causing her to move around a lot in the night, because of this Brett sleeps in the spare room 90 per cent of the time.
Because Lisa and Brett are a couple, they are expected to share a room, losing £80 a month.
The pair say they will struggle, because they cannot downsize.
Foster carer Hayley Woods has been looking after children for seven years, in her three bedroom house in Oldham, Lancashire.
She currently has a ten-year-old child in her care, with a spare bedroom ready to take on another.
Under the so called 'bedroom tax' policy, her bedrooms will be deemed empty, even though they may have children in them.
She stands to lose around £80 month, and says many foster carers she knows have said they will stop fostering.
David Cameron has promised to review "any individual case" relating to the so-called 'bedroom tax'.
Legal action will be launched against the plans today, which could see housing benefit payments reduced for tenants in council or housing association properties with empty bedrooms.
Under the new rules, all working-age tenants in receipt of housing benefit will be affected by the charge - 14 per cent for one unoccupied room, 25 per cent for two.
The charge would apply, irrespective of whether the room is occupied on a part time basis, such as a couple who use their spare bedroom if one of them is recovering from an illness or operation.
The 'bedroom tax' will affect around 660,000 social housing tenants across the country:
- Separated parents who share the care of their children and may have been allocated an extra bedroom to reflect this. Benefit rules mean that there must be a designated ‘main carer’ for children (who receives the extra benefit)
- Foster carers as foster children are not counted as part of the household for benefit purposes
- Couples who use their spare bedroom when recovering from an illness or operation
- Parents whose children visit but are not part of the household
- Families with disabled children
Source: The National Housing Federation
Opponents of the Government's plans to withhold benefits from some social housing tenants, deemed to have spare rooms, are today launching a legal challenge against the so-called 'bedroom tax'.
Earlier this week, David Cameron pledged to look at "any individual case" relating to the change in rules as the Government's plans were attacked by a string of opposition MPs.
The Prime Minister said the move was not a tax, explaining that "a tax is when someone earns money, it is their money and the Government takes some of it away."
The under-occupancy charge sees housing benefit payments reduced for tenants in council or housing association properties with empty bedrooms.