The Liverpool Echo is reporting that only a handful of people in the city who have been challenging the bedroom tax since March 2013 have succeeded in getting lost benefits repaid. Of 278 people who have got to a tribunal, 63 have won but in all but 24 cases the government is taking the appeal to the upper tribunal.
The Echo has reported stories of people who have even attempted suicide because they have struggled to cope with the cost, and in other parts of the country, people who should not have had to pay it have taken their own lives.
The figures analysed by the ECHO show that since March 2013, 843 people in Liverpool appealed against the bedroom tax. Of these, 598 progressed to a First Tier Tribunal. Of those, 278 decisions have been received and 320 are pending.
So far, just 63 people have won the tribunal, but only 24 people have received their cash back because the government takes appeals against the decision made by the tribunal to the upper, Second Tier Tribunal.
Liverpool council cabinet member for housing Cllr Ann O’Byrne said the strain on people and housing associations was growing.
She said: “Obviously, we are supporting as many people as we can through DHP, working with all the housing associations in encouraging people to apply for it. We have not opposed any of the decisions.
“This is one of the harshest policies we have ever seen.
“We will continue to urge the government to scrap the bedroom tax as quickly as possible.”