This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
WORK and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey must pay damages to two severely disabled men who lost £170 a month when they were moved onto universal credit (UC).
The pair will be paid a total of just over £11,000 to compensate their financial losses and the resultant “mental suffering, distress, anxiety, humiliation and disruption to life,” the High Court heard today.
Last month, the High Court ruled that the two men were unlawfully discriminated against as they were moved onto UC simply because they moved between local authority areas.
TP, a terminally ill 52-year-old, had his payments cut under UC while undergoing “gruelling chemotherapy” because he briefly moved from London to live with his parents in Dorset.
AR, a 36-year-old suffering from bipolar disorder, was forced to use foodbanks when his support was cut after the bedroom tax forced him to move from Middlesbrough to Hartlepool.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) agreed to pay TP and AR damages but sought to keep the sum confidential.
Samantha Broadfoot QC said it was “not contrary to the principle of open justice for the figures to remain confidential.”
But Mr Justice Lewis said: “You are the government and we should know what you are doing and what public money you are spending.”
He expressed concern that “the government is trying to hide something. They lost and they do not want to admit they lost.”
After a short break, the parties reached an agreement on a non-confidential basis.
The DWP agreed to pay TP £6,517.05 — £3,277 for financial losses, £3,240.05 for “significant stress and anxiety.”
AR will be paid £4,788 — £2,108 for financial losses and £2,680 for the “significant distress” caused.
The pair will also receive £173.50 and £176 a month respectively to make up for the shortfall until the UC regulations are amended.
TP and AR’s lawyer, Tessa Gregory from Leigh Day, said: “We hope the Secretary of State will now without delay compensate others in the same position and reconsider her decision to pursue an appeal.”
She said the current draft UC regulations “only compensate those in our clients’ position to a flat rate of £80 a month” which “compounds the unlawful treatment” they suffered.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £10 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.