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A case which could make a dramatic difference to millions of legacy benefits claimants by awarding them a £20 a week backdated uplift will not be going ahead in September because, almost unbelievably, there are no judges available to hear it.

A hearing had been listed in the High Court for 28 and 29 September to decide whether the government had broken the law by awarding an additional £20 a week to universal credit claimants during the pandemic but not awarding it to claimants of legacy benefits, such as ESA.

The DWP’s excuse for this discriminatory behaviour was that the software for legacy benefits would not be able to calculate the increase for individual claimants.

However, on Friday the court announced that the case would now be adjourned until an unspecified date because no judge was available to hear it. Given the importance of the case and the huge number of people affected, this seems an extraordinary admission.

But it will come as a considerable relief to the government, which is planning to end the uplift for universal credit claimants at the end of this month, in the face of growing opposition from charities and its own MPs.

It is not known whether the case will now go ahead this year.

Comments  

#19 Asbo 2021-09-30 21:44
I can't read the newsletter online any more, it just crashes :sad:
#18 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2021-09-29 19:24
Latest update from the claimants taking this to court. New court date.

UPDATE from Phil: My solicitor has confirmed that our new court date will be the 17-18th November.

I hope we can end this particular injustice & then focus on all the others we face.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Z2K_trust/status/1443228572135608324
+2 #17 Floss 2021-09-29 14:32
Quoting Dave:
Does this relate to just those in receipt of income related ESA or contribution based as well?


I read somewhere that it is income related ESA only - but I don't understand why it doesn't also relate to Contribution Based.
+2 #16 DianaW 2021-09-29 12:14
The government has no control whatsoever over the availability of judges, who are entirely separate from the politicians, remember.
Nor can it be blamed for too cases having been listed for all the outstanding ones to be heard on the date originally set. Managing court hearings is a juggling act which tries to avoid wasting judicial time by listing more cases for hearing on the same date than there are courts available - because many cases settle before the hearing date, often only just before the hearing begins.
There's no point blaming the judicial system for the backlog caused by Covid-19, or for any possible lack of judges - who are just as vulnerable to infection, or to suddenly needing to self-isolate after spending time with someone who's become infected, as anyone else of their age. The 'pingdemic' isn't over either, remember?
This ignorant tendency to spread blame simply foments pointless and stupid prejudice.
As the earlier comment pointed out, the lost hearing date has very quickly been replaced with a new one. So let's wait and see what happens at the hearing, when it takes place.
+4 #15 Nicholas1972 2021-09-29 11:24
As one who was previously employed in the Family Court, could I say gently that the Administrative division of the High Court which hears judicial reviews, as with all divisions of the High Court are separate entities from the government and government departments such as DWP and if there are no judges available, you can take it to the bank that this is true. The High Court has nothing to gain by delaying these proceedings and whilst I do not profess to know why there are no available judges, PERHAPS, it might have to do with a backlog of court hearings which were not able to be heard due to the covid pandemic.
#14 Kevin Sutherland 2021-09-29 11:17
It wouldn’t matter which Party is in Government, they would all fight this case because it will cost a lot of money, I think the money will be paid at some point in the future and it might not go through the Courts.
It’s quite likely that the Government could u-turn and pay the money anyway, they just don’t want to pay it now.
Most Tory mp’s are unhappy that this has dragged on so long and should be paid, I don’t think even Boris believes they can win in Court but delaying until after April next year would look better when balancing the books.
Now that the £20.00 uplift is finished it’s easy to work out how much is owed to each claimant, so the newspaper’s will probably have the sum plastered over the front pages.
The Labour Party has some blame in this, they have failed to push the Government into a Parliamentary vote on this unfairness, if they had they might have shamed them into doing the right thing, God knows how many u-turns they’ve done already.
I honestly think the money will be paid but it won’t happen until late next Year after more People are back at work and paying their Taxes.
+5 #13 Dave 2021-09-29 10:17
Does this relate to just those in receipt of income related ESA or contribution based as well?
+5 #12 roadrunner 2021-09-29 09:45
Case now set to be heard on November 17 and 18 as reported in the press 27th Sept.
+1 #11 Will 2021-09-24 11:00
Totally ridiculous. Seems far too convenient for the DWP that there is no judge available. Sure one would be found for other matters...
+2 #10 sharon boomer 2021-09-22 13:06
I thought it would be to good to be true for this govt to be brought to book over its discrimination towards disabled people.
+1 #9 Prudent 2021-09-22 11:33
It is sadly unsurprising. I have decided to lobby my MP about the delay.
#8 Krag 2021-09-22 11:29
Sadly I always thought that judges had to be fair even handed and above reproach, sadly after over a decade of Tory attacks on the vulnerable coming to courts time and time again it's obvious to me now that that is a myth.
+1 #7 pusscatsmum 2021-09-21 17:02
Unfortunately it is little to do with whoever is in power be it liberal, labour or conservative, it is to do with the matter itself, No party wish to ' Level' up at all, regardless of what that word truly means
+2 #6 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2021-09-21 13:27
Quoting ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar:
Thought something like this would happen, these shoddy Torys may well have put off a judge over this matter, it's unbelievable how this has happened?

Something doesn't sit right to me with this being stonewalled for now.



I knew this would happen, as it's already been put back. So looks like the tories are going to mug us all off again, and walk away scott free.
+3 #5 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2021-09-21 13:25
Guess the judges, newspapers, and other social media outlets etc, have all been gagged by the Tories.

I bet the voters at the next GE, will be muggy enough to vote tories back into office. Just to be clobbered again and again.

When will the people learn and vote otherwise?

You get what you vote for, and the tory promises in their manifestos are there just to lure in the voters on their side.


Good luck to all.
+6 #4 agmlfc72 2021-09-20 22:29
So the High Court has stopped for all cases due to lack of judges? This should be front page news.
+2 #3 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2021-09-20 22:23
Now that didn't surprise me at all. It's a stitch up.


("the court announced that the case would now be adjourned until an unspecified date because no judge was available to hear it")

So where are all the judges hiding at ???

You couldn't make it up if you tried. I bet the DWP are laughing their b****xs off.
+6 #2 Angel 2021-09-20 17:09
Once more they are hoping we will just go away. Appalling behaviour as always from this lot. No wonder they told people they didn’t have to wear masks anymore; not enough of us died last year obviously. :-x
+5 #1 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2021-09-20 14:36
Thought something like this would happen, these shoddy Torys may well have put off a judge over this matter, it's unbelievable how this has happened?

Something doesn't sit right to me with this being stonewalled for now.

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