This House of Commons Briefing Paper summarises some key findings arising from research into the impact of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (also referred to as the 'Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy' or 'bedroom tax').Jump to full report >>
The Government used powers contained in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 to provide that, since 1 April 2013, working-age social tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit experience a reduction in their benefit entitlement if they live in housing that is deemed to be too large for their needs. This measure is referred to as the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (RSRS) and also the “bedroom tax.”
Detailed information on the application of the under-occupation deduction, e.g. what constitutes a bedroom and who is affected, can be found in Library Briefing Paper 06272, Under-occupation of social housing: Housing Benefit entitlement.
At the end of November 2015 442,933 claimants in Great Britain were affected by the measure compared to 547,000 in May 2013.
After the introduction of the measure a number of bodies began to monitor its impact and publish their research findings. In December 2015 the DWP published an Evaluation of Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy: final report the research for which was undertaken over 20 months up to November 2014 by Ipsos MORI and the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research. The project was tasked with the evaluation of:
This paper considers the findings of the DWP’s evaluation and other research into the impact of the under-occupation deduction.
Commons Briefing papers SN06896
Authors: Wendy Wilson; Richard Keen