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DWP to close bedroom tax loophole<

The Department for Work and Pensions has pledged to close a loophole which would have inadvertently exempted long-term housing association tenants from the bedroom tax.

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Regulations for the controversial policy, which will cut housing benefit for social housing tenants of working age with spare rooms, were laid before parliament last month.

The policy will see an estimated 660,000 households lose £14 a week on average.

The regulations state the bedroom tax does not apply to housing association regulated tenancies which date from before 15 January 1989.

Since 1989, housing associations have offered assured tenancies, which offer less security than regulated tenancies.

However the Department for Work Pensions says it will re-draft the regulations and take out the pre-1989 exemption. A spokesperson said the exemption was included in ‘error’.

She said: ‘These cases will not be exempted.’

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