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Violence victims' safe rooms 'should be exempt from bedroom tax'

Domestic violence victims living in social housing fitted with safe rooms should be exempt from the so-called “bedroom tax,” an MP demanded yesterday.

Labour’s Alison Seabeck said victims who have had the security measures installed, but have an extra bedroom, are being forced to move from places of safety due the Con-Dem tax.

But such “sanctuary rooms” and protections can be the difference between life and death, she said.

Moving home also leaves victims vulnerable to further abuse and has a destabilising effect.

Bringing forward her Safe and Sanctuary Rooms (Exemption from Under-Occupancy Penalty) Bill, she said that abuse victims also faced a “postcode lottery” as different councils dealt with the issue in different ways.

Parliament heard that exempting such homes from paying extra for spare rooms would also be inexpensive as only around 280 homes are affected and securing a smaller home would be costly in itself.

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