Bedroom tax ‘bungle’

Thousands of people have been wrongly identified as being liable for the 'bedroom tax', including some who now face eviction or have been forced to move to a smaller property, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper. This is a result, says the paper, of an error by the Department of Work and Pensions.

The error is said to affect working-age tenants in social housing who have occupied the same home continuously since 1996. An oversight by the DWP when drafting the legislation means that the housing benefit regulations dating from 1996 were not updated when the coalition legislated for the bedroom tax.

Housing experts believe as many as 40,000 people could be affected by the mistake. But the DWP claims only a 'small number' of tenants are affected, which it estimates number 5,000. All could be eligible for refunds, worth on average at least £640 per claimant and therefore costing millions of pounds in aggregate.

SourceThe Guardian, 9 January 2014
LinksGuardian report

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Publication date: 
Jan 9 2014