On appeal from: [2018] UKUT 355 (AAC)

This case considered the effect of the Supreme Court’s decision in R (Carmichael) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] UKSC 58 upon the decision-makers in the housing benefit system and the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal hearing appeals from local authority decisions – in claims relating to periods before the regulations governing the removal of the spare room subsidy, otherwise known as the “bedroom tax” were amended. The question for the Court was whether the regulations should apply in their original form or whether the housing benefit should be calculated without making the percentage deduction in cases where to do so would breach the Convention rights of the claimants in the way determined in the Carmichael and Rutherford cases.

The Supreme Court allowed the appeal. It made the same order as the UT made in Carmichael that (1) the appeal against the local authority’s decision of 5 March 2013 is allowed; and (2) that RR’s housing benefit entitlement was to be recalculated without making the under-occupancy deduction of 14%. The reason for doing so was the same as that which the UT gave, namely that if the deduction was applied, there would be a clear breach of RR’s Convention rights, contrary to the Human Rights Act 1998, section 6(1).

For judgment, please download: [2019] UKSC 52

For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary

For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing: (3 July 2019, morning session and afternoon session)