As First Tier Tribunal bedroom tax decisions go, this one is a corker. Glasgow FTT has decided that the Regulations as applied to a severely disabled woman who could not share a bedroom with her partner amounted to an unjustified breach of Article 14, read with Article 1 Protocol 1. The decision is here.
I need time to consider the decision properly and write it up, but the headline is that the FTT read the relevant regulation (B13(5)(a)) to read “(a) a couple (within the meaning of part 7 of the Act) (or one member of a couple who cannot share a bedroom because of severe disability) in order to give the regulation effect in a Convention compatible way. Not to read the regulations in this way would be incompatible with the Convention and the Human Rights Act.
This one will need some detailed comment, not least on the distinguishing of this appeal from the High Court’s decision in MA & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & Ors  EWHC 2213 (QB). Compare, for example, para 51 of MA with para 3 of this decision. Does ‘severely’ make sufficient difference? There is also the issue of the extent to which the FTT’s ‘compatible reading-in’ is a re-writing, amongst others.
But it is in any event a remarkable decision and clearly remarkable advocacy by Govan Law Centre.
The DWP appeal will no doubt be announced any moment now. And all eyes on the Court of Appeal forthcoming hearing in MA…
[*Any reference to the Jacobite Rebellion entirely co-incidental]