Another inept press report on the bedroom tax and Stephanie Bottrill

Very quick blog on Sunday Mirror bedroom tax on Stephanie Bottrill.

1. Mirror says

Solihull housing officials are trawling records of 700 Bedroom Tax payers. They expect to find 100 due a refund

Firstly, Solihull has 1094 bedroom tax cases not 700 as stated in official and actual figures from November 2012.  However if Solihull does find 100 cases that are exempt then this is over 9% and extrapolating this would mean 48,000 cases across the country.and 20% MORE than my estimate of 40,000 which the Guardian published this week.  You will recall the DWP – after admitting its cock up – said it will be no more than 5000 nationally and so we see yet again a tabloid missing the real issue!
If Solihull figures are 100 households having the bedroom tax imposed in error then why does the DWP only expect them to find just 10 cases?
2. Mirror says:-

“But there can be no compensation for Stephanie,” said Solihull Labour Group leader David Jamieson, a friend of the family.

“This cruel tax brought about this tragedy and to find out she was being wrongly forced out of her home is doubly tragic.

Solihull is a Tory majority council and here we have the leader of the Labour group failing to realise that it is Solihull council who made the bedroom tax decisions in error in Stephanie Bottrill and it seems another 100 cases and who are just as responsible.  So David Jamieson Labour leader at Solihull is letting his party down and his family friends down!
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16 thoughts on “Another inept press report on the bedroom tax and Stephanie Bottrill

    1. The bedroom tax guidance is the A4 of 2012 which does precisely that and steered all LAs down a blind alley. See especially paragraph 10 which says these are the only exemptions

  1. Councils and governments are also subject to the law. Since they have clearly broken it in this case (and many others), the people they have wronged are entitled to compensation of some kind. Councillors (and MPs) will say “there can be no compensation” in the hope that this will discourage people from taking action, because they don’t want to pay out the penalties they have incurred – that is why it is important that people DO demand what is theirs by legal right.

    1. Mike – that is correct in terms of (monetary) compensation which the article may or may not have meant. Failure to follow procedures of the law (which ALL local councils did in blindly following DWPs steer in a4/2012) is a de facto head of maladministration in the LGO canon – one of 11 head or areas.

      So a Local Govt Ombudsman complaint of maladministration is a strong probability of success yet LGO award derisory levels of compensation for injustice for the pre 1996 cases.

      I can see – but not my area at all – no win no fee solicitors coming out of the woodwork on the pre 1996 exempt cases but how and under what legal routes they take to get tenants compensated for giving up one meal a day or whatever to afford the bedroom tax and keeping the roof over their heads is up to them to decide. All the more reason why the Labout councillor in Solihull would want to use this against the Tory-run administration that made these bedroom tax cock ups in Solihull too

  2. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    Councils and governments are also subject to the law. Since they have clearly broken it in this case (and many others), the people they have wronged are entitled to compensation of some kind. Councillors (and MPs) will say “there can be no compensation” in the hope that this will discourage people from taking action, because they don’t want to pay out the penalties they have incurred – that is why it is important that people DO demand what is theirs by legal right.

  3. Reblogged on Jay’s Journal and commented:
    More misinformation – we have to learn to MAKE these people stop making such errors in the first place – but how?
    The Government, the Councils, the DWP and especially IDS, should be up in front of the judges for months with this – but they won’t, they’ll take not a blind bit of notice of what is said and what the judgments are.
    This has been done on purpose, councils have been told, or led, to NOT inform people of the exemptions – this is fraud and should be looked into properly.

  4. I really hope Labour take full advantage of this. They seem very quiet! I also hope everyone who has moved home, or whose health has worsened due to unlawfully being told they have to pay bedroom tax, or give up their home, will contact a solicitor immediately. Don’t let this Government, and the LA’s, get away with this – you deserve compensation! We need this to be the END of the bedroom tax!

  5. For a court case to be successful the claimant woyld need to show willing that they have tried and taken steps to resolve this mammoth cock up out of court which is why Joe’s blog on how to being a claim for maladministration is very good as they are the steps needed to take first then by all means if you still do not get the result take it too a civil court.

    That would also no doubt bring about more evidence and thus the job of getting a solicitor will be that much easier.

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