Today’s damning High Court judgment against the Government for discriminating against full-time carers by including them amongst those hit by its Benefit Cap puts a real spanner in the works at DWP. Only last month, a DWP Minister was vehemently defending the policy, insisting that because some carers work already all those providing care for at least 35 hours a week should also be required to get a paid job. Today, DWP is having to consider this judgment and work out whether an appeal has any reasonable prospect of success.
Z2K is opposed to the Benefit Cap on a point of principle – we believe claimants should receive the Social Security benefits to which they are entitled. However, we are especially concerned about the impact of the cap on full-time carers because we have seen the terrible strain several clients in this position have been put under – having to choose between continuing to care full-time and thereby facing the prospect of losing their home. One of those, Jacqui, bravely explained her situation better than we ever could the Work & Pensions Select Committee. Continue reading
What a relief! Although our joint fundraising Quiz with the Bar Pro Bono unit is always great fun it is also a huge amount of work and we never know until the night itself whether we will raise enough to make it worthwhile.
This year it was held on 16th November in Inner Temple Hall, as usual, and hosted, for the first time, by Clive Anderson. We also a new Quiz Master Mike Tulley and auctioneer Roger Bell-Ogilby
It seemed to go very well, thanks to the wonderful team of elves marshalled by the incomparable Harriet Paul, the world’s greatest and nicest event organiser .
The quiz engendered heated arguments on various tables as to which is longer, the Rhone or the Loire and how many Rs there are in George RR Martin. It was eventually won by a table of current and ex lawyers from the firm Mayer Brown, who have also won in previous years, so in future we may need to find a way of handicapping them.
Clive was an excellent Quiz Master and gave a very good impression of actually enjoying himself, which was infectious.
All gave generously and we are immensely grateful to all those who gave the prizes which enabled us to raise the money to help those who need access to justice but cannot afford it, which is the object of the exercise.
This winter more than 2.3 million UK households will live with the daily reality of fuel poverty as they struggle to keep warm because they can’t afford to keep their home adequately heated. Fuel poverty has a profoundly negative impact on quality of life. A third of those in fuel poverty report skipping meals just so they can switch the heating on once in a while and a fifth suffer stress and other mental health problems.
But despite popular perceptions fuel poverty doesn’t just affect pensioners. Heating a poorly insulated house adequately for a small child is expensive. A recent report estimated there were at least 1.5 million children in the UK growing up in cold homes. Of course pensioners do at least receive some support, for everyone else struggling with fuel poverty there’s nothing. Continue reading