Disabled people in Scotland hit by bedroom tax

Disabled people in Scotland are having to go without essentials such as food, heating and clothes to make up for the loss in their income caused by the 'bedroom tax', say campaigners.

The findings come from a survey by an independent market research company. Over 100 responses were received from disabled people who filled in a paper questionnaire or completed an online version.

Key findings

  • Almost a quarter of disabled people who took part in the research said they would lose money as a result of the new cap on the amount of housing benefit a person can get if they are deemed to have a 'spare' room – despite considering their ‘extra’ room to be essential for a purpose related to their disability.
  • The people most likely to be affected are couples who need to sleep in separate rooms as a result of their disability. Examples given include people who need to sleep alone because of problems including constant spasms, incontinence or extreme restlessness.
  • Other households affected include people who need an extra room to store bulky disability-related equipment such as powered wheelchairs, hoists, walkers and frames.
  • Only 5 per cent of disabled respondents felt their home was too big for them. Of those, all said the reason they hadn't yet moved to a smaller home was that their existing house suited them and had been specially adapted to meet their needs.

SourceSqueezed Out: Counting the Real Cost of the Bedroom Tax, Capability Scotland
LinksReport | Capability Scotland press release | SNP press release | Daily Record report 

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Publication date: 
Jun 3 2013