Bedroom tax JR – NearlyLegal

“The headline here, as has been widely tweeted/flashed etc, is that the challenge to the bedroom tax contained in Regulation B13, Housing Benefit Regulations (both generically and specifically in relation to households with a disabled person) was unsuccessful in the Divisional Court (R(MA) Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2013] EWHC 2213 – not on Baili yet, but available to download from Adam Wagner’s site); but the Court came close to granting injunctive relief against the Secretary of State to make regulations bringing Burnip/Gorry into effect, as opposed to relying simply on a Circular. The DWP had argued that they were entitled to rely on guidance by way of Circular ‘pending a decision on whether and at what point in time to introduce regulations’ (Laws LJ’s emphasis). On that point, rarely have I read such strong words as appear in Laws LJ’s judgment at [91]-[92]. That is an ouch moment for the DWP which, I bet, will not be widely reported, so let me headline the quote here: ‘The Secretary of State has no business considering whether to introduce regulations to conform HB provision with the judgment in Gorry. He is obliged to do so.’ The only thing which stopped injunctive relief was that their drafting was ‘under consideration’ after 14 months (!).”

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NearlyLegal, 3oth July 2013