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Bedroom Tax Error Sees Many Wrongly Paying

Tuesday January 14 2014




IT'S thought that as many as 40,000 people have wrongly been paying the so-called 'bedroom tax'.

MP John Healey has asked questions in Parliament after it emerged a government mistake meant thousands of people have been wrongly paying.

It's thought as many as 40,000 people - or 5 per cent of those paying the bedroom tax - could be eligible for a full refund.

Around 8,000 families in Rotherham and Barnsley have been paying on average up to £17 a week extra since April.

That means around 400 could get back as much as £700.

The error by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) affects working age council and housing association tenants who have lived in the same home and been entitled to housing benefit since 1996.

When the bedroom tax legislation was drafted, the government did not update housing benefit regulations dating from 1996.

Mr Healey has asked Parliamentary Questions of the Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith, to establish how many people the government think have been affected and what action they're taking to reimburse those who have paid wrongly.

The questions are due to be answered on January 14.

Mr Healey said: "The bedroom tax is hitting disabled and vulnerable people with an average bill of £720 a year.

"It’s a callous, heartless and reckless policy that has forced families to use food banks and could end up costing more than it saves.

"The bedroom tax has always been badly thought through. Now we know the government have levied the tax illegally in some cases.

"It's going to be a big job for councils to put this right and put the money back in people’s pockets.

"Instead of changing it, the government should scrap the bedroom tax immediately."

What do you think to this? Have your say below.

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20 Showing 20 comments

Reply Posted by Paddy on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 10:40
So which people will be refunded the bedroom tax?

Reply Posted by Greatnews!! on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 10:50
It reads that anybody of working age who has claimed housing benefit since 1996 can claim money back! Going to hit the government hard but where will they take the money from now!!

Reply Posted by Greatnews!! on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 10:50
It reads that anybody of working age who has claimed housing benefit since 1996 and lived in the same home can claim money back! Going to hit the government hard but where will they take the money from now!!

Reply Posted by Irene on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 10:56
My brother has lived in his council house from the age of 8 yrs with his parents. It is a 3 bed house. His father died and he lived there with his mum until she had to go into a care home. He is on benefits and has disabilites, they haven't offered him a smaller property, but it would cost more to move than to stay where he is. He is in his 50's now, surely this should come under the 1996 rules?

Reply Posted by Tykleton on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 10:56
When will Channel 4 be airing the show about these people?

Reply Posted by me on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 10:58
Rent is about to increase, council tax will probably increase that's where the extra money come from to pay refunds. Either that or more job cuts. Why don't they try cutting one councillor, there's everyone's refund paid near enough!

Reply Posted by krissie on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 11:12
what a laugh! the government has been wrongly charging people for the bedroom tax and says it needs to put the money back into peoples pockets. before I bought my house if I overpaid council tax/poll tax/ whatever tax they bloody kept it and took it off the following years tax.....People will not see their money because the government WILL find a way to keep it!!!

Reply Posted by bob on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 11:53
Irene - I would imagine that they would only look at your brother from the date he took over the tenancy in his own name (rather than accept a transfer if you see what I mean). Worth checking though x

Reply Posted by Irene on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 11:50
Bob - thanks very much for your reply, I will make some enquiries. x

Reply Posted by jules on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 12:44
so after all that hassle heartache ppl loses there homes etc etc they think thats all there worth a refund public apology wont go a miss should seek compo aswell

Reply Posted by lol' old me on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 17:07
The rules are that you must have been living in the same property and liable for the rent and been in receipt of housing benefits continuously since 1996. This will affect less people than the press are making out but if this applies to you, you need to contact your housing benefit department.

Reply Posted by sally on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 17:53
i would be embarrassed to admit i had been claiming housing benefit since1996

Reply Posted by kim on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 18:09
Sally - Don;t admit it then. Fool

Reply Posted by Fred on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 18:55
Get ready for the unemployed having street parties when they hear this news.

Reply Posted by Mr khan here on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 19:01
No worries there Fred. We have all given our large homes up and down sized into the bloody Andersons. Beware Fred . Anderson street coming to an area near you..Happy families..

Reply Posted by sid on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 19:08
Haha! Anderson Alley!

Reply Posted by Sue on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 19:25
I have only claimed housing benefit intermittently between jobs, or when n low income.. So h would I claim this back?.. I am currently nt in receipt of housing benefits.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Tuesday January 14 2014 at 19:38
Anyone thinking they are going to be getting a bedroom tax refund then think again, the Tories will only change the legislation retrospectively as they have done on many occasions.

Reply Posted by workingfornothing on Thursday January 16 2014 at 16:24
As per the dole lites get everything were as us workers get nothing.What a country we live in !!

Reply Posted by dole free on Thursday January 16 2014 at 16:26
Do you work for nothing? Best get a proper job.