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IDS scoffs at bedroom tax disabled figures

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IDS scoffs at bedroom tax disabled figures

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Housing

IDS scoffs at bedroom tax disabled figures IDS scoffs at bedroom tax disabled figures

Iain Duncan Smith has scoffed at figures that suggest nearly two-thirds of those struck by the controversial bedroom tax are disabled.

The works and pensions secretary has claimed the figure is based on social housing tenants' "self-declarations", and insisted no proper checking has been to collaborate the data.

The 63% figure comes from a Department for Work and Pensions equality impact assessment on the bedroom tax.

Speaking to LBC Radio, the DWP chief said: “The figures you use are figures used for people’s self-declaration of their disability under the Disability Discrimination Act.

“The fact is all social housing has exactly the same figures. This isn’t just people with spare rooms. The whole of the social housing network, two-thirds of them declare as having some form of disability.

“I’m not saying they’re right or they’re wrong. I simply say that’s their declaration. There’s no ongoing check. About a third are in receipt of something like DLA, which of itself is a payment to support housing costs.”

Last December, Housing Association Habinteg released a report that revealed two thirds of its tenants hit by the bedroom tax were disabled.

Responding to IDS' claims, Habinteg's chief executive, Paul Gamble, said: “Our research shows that in total two-thirds of Habinteg tenancies faced with higher rent due to the bedroom tax include a disabled person. We noted at the time of publication that our figures correlated closely with the DWP’s own estimates.

“The evidence in ‘What price independent lives?’ isn’t based on ‘self declaration’ in any way. We looked at wheelchair accessible properties affected along with those where we know that one or more tenants is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (an allowance for the additional financial costs of disability, focussed on mobility and care rather than rent).

As an engaged social landlord that is working hard to ensure our tenants are able to mitigate the impacts of the bedroom tax, we are confident that these figures gathered six months into the implementation of housing benefit reform are robust.”

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