“Iain Duncan Smith accused of writing ‘blank cheque’ to lawyers to defend bedroom tax in court”

“Can the minister confirm there are 280 victims of domestic violence that have had panic rooms installed house under the Sanctuary scheme affected by the policy – and can he confirm that exempting those people from the bedroom tax would cost the Government a mere £200,000,” Owen Smith, shadow DWP secretary asked in the House of Commons.

“By comparison can he tell us how many hundreds of thousands of pounds he’s spent on legal fees defending this policy and how much more he’s prepared to spend? Is this a blank cheque to defend this to the end?”

DWP minister Justin Tomlinson, who was fielding questions for the Government, did not respond directly to the question.

“We fundamentally disagree with yesterday’s court of appeal ruling,” he said.

Asked later by another MP why the Government was “spending taxpayers’ money on an appeal”, Mr Tomlinson replied: “Because we want to make sure those who are vulnerable get the right support.”