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Negative Instrument


The DWP has laid the Statutory Instrument amending the benefit regulations to do away with the ‘pre 1996 claim’ exemption to the bedroom tax. It is to come into effect on 3 March 2014, making all those exempt liable for the bedroom tax from that date. (It is not retrospective).

As a ‘negative’ Statutory Instrument, it is approved unless a prayer against it is made and a majority vote in at least one House is in favour of the prayer. (Though apparently this doesn’t stop the SI being laid again, and again ).

Caroline Lucas MP – Green Party – has submitted an EDM in the following terms:

SOCIAL SECURITY (S.I., 2014, No. 212)
 Caroline Lucas
 That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Housing Benefit (Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I., 2014, No. 212), dated 4 February 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 5 February, be annulled.’
But the odds on a majority vote in either house in support? Not great.
Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. jeanette

    I have just received a letter back from the housing. after applying under jan 1996..In Short letter said no as you have not continuously been receiving Housing ben.. Not true. I have continuously received H.B. Single parent I don’t know how to appeal in the right way.. I know with out doubt that my claim has been continues.. any one help

    • Giles Peaker

      I can only suggest finding your local advice centre, law centre or Citizens Advice for help in putting an appeal in.

  2. Philip Byron

    Contact and ask for a copy of their ‘Tick Tock Tick Tock’ campaign pack. It will tell you all you need to know.

    • Giles Peaker

      I have to say I have not seen this pack and I have no idea if it is any good or not.

  3. Terry.hdaac

    Write a letter to your local authority’s HB department, point out the error made. If you have evidence of your award of HB from before 1996 then include copies with your letter. Ask it to reconsider the decision. At the same ask them to send you the evidence it has used to deny you your right to be exempt from the bedroom tax.

    [Edited by NL to delete the rest of the comment. Without any disrespect to Terry, I have no way of knowing about his organisation, experience or credentials. So I am not going to let contact details and further advice stay up here, where it would appear we endorse the organisation.

    I would add that there is a difference between the Council refusing a request for reconsideration and making a negative decision on the reconsideration. AS Peter Barker put it in an earlier comment:

    – there is no right of appeal against the Council’s refusal to carry out a revision as such – see “relevant decision” in para 1 of Schedule 7 to the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000; a “relevant decision” is the matter attracting a right of appeal and refusal to revise such a decision is not in itself a further decision.
    – but if the Council has entertained the claimant’s application for revision and considered it in substance, there is a further right to appeal against the original decision within a month of the rejection of the application for revision (and it can be extended to 13 months) so it amounts to the same thing
    – if the Council has declined even to entertain the claimant’s application for revision because it was not made within a month of the original decision, there is still a right of appeal against the original decision made in spring 2013 for up to 13 months after it was made. So not long left now.]


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