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Supreme Court rules on unlawfulness of bedroom tax

Litigation Letter

Supreme Court rules on unlawfulness of bedroom tax

R (on the application of Rutherford and another) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] UKSC 58, 9 November 2016

The Carmichael case concerned Mrs Carmichael, who had spina bifida and needed a separate bedroom with a special hospital-type bed. Lord Toulson noted that this was analogous to the case of Gorry v Wiltshire County Council in Burnip v Birmingham City Council [2012] EWCA Civ 629, in which the Court previously held that Regulation B13 discriminated against two children of the same sex who could not share a bedroom due to severe disabilities. His Lordship could not “ see a sensible reason for distinguishing between adult partners who cannot share a bedroom because of disability and children who cannot do so because of disability” , and held that there was no reasonable justification for the difference of treatment (paragraph 46).

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