An obligatory discretion?

Rutherford & Ors v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2014] EWHC 1613 (Admin)

This was the judicial review, supported by CPAG, of the failure of the bedroom tax regulations to address the position of tenants where a bedroom was needed for overnight carers for a child. The only statutory ‘exemption’ is for overnight carers for the tenant or their partner. I’ll spare you waiting for the end, the Claimants were given permission but lost the claim. However, for reasons I will try to explain at the end, it has left me feeling that this is a positive step in the unravelling of the bedroom tax, even before any … Read the full post

Article 14 in Hereford

A proper note to follow, but there has been a significant First Tier Tribunal appeal in a bedroom tax related case in Hereford. The decision is here (and also on the FTT decision page in the menu above).

This is an LHA decision, not on the bedroom tax. While the provision considered is effectively the same, there is a distinction made in terms of justification of policy which may be significant.

It is a reasoned decision based on Article 14, distinguishing MA & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & Ors [2013] EWHC 2213 (QB). It is an English decision, so unlike … Read the full post

Ye’ll tak’ the high road*

As First Tier Tribunal bedroom tax decisions go, this one is a corker. Glasgow FTT has decided that the Regulations as applied to a severely disabled woman who could not share a bedroom with her partner amounted to an unjustified breach of Article 14, read with Article 1 Protocol 1. The decision is here.

I need time to consider the decision properly and write it up, but the headline is that the FTT read the relevant regulation (B13(5)(a)) to read “(a) a couple (within the meaning of part 7 of the Act) (or one member of a couple who cannot share a bedroom because of severe disability) in order … Read the full post

And another one…

Another bedroom tax judicial review has just been issued.

CPAG are acting in a judicial review by Paul and Susan Rutherford. Their grandson, Warren, suffers from grave cognitive and physical disabilities and requires 24 hour care by at least two people at all times. His grandparents, who both suffer from disabilities themselves, struggle to look after him alone and need the help of two carers who can stay overnight at least twice a week. The household live in a 3 bedroom bungalow, with the third bedroom needed for overnight carers and Warren’s equipment.

While overnight carers for the housing benefit claimant or their partner attract a dispensation from the bedroom … Read the full post

How Limited is that Partnership?

Salvesen and Riddell & Anor v. The Lord Advocate (Scotland) [2013] UKSC 22

It is not common for us to cover Scots Law, or Agricultural Law, here. However, both mores are to be broken in the face of an interesting convention decision from the Supreme Court.

You will have to bear with me as the facts are complex. I promise to keep it simple. Scottish Agricultural tenants have historically had very substantial security of tenure along with very powerful succession rights. Much the same situation has existed in England too at times. This is said to be good for land husbandry but is equally a reflection of post-war … Read the full post