Home > News > Policy on deduction for fines from Universal Credit declared unlawful

R (oao Blundell and others) v SSWP; R (aoa Day) v SSWP  [2021] EWHC 608 Admin

On 17th March 2021 Kerr J declared that the Secretary of State’s policy in relation to decisions about the amount of deductions that would be made from Universal Credit to pay off fines for which the claimant was liable involved an unlawful fetter on her discretion. The policy effectively committed her to making deductions at a fixed (maximum) rate; her case was that if this produced unacceptable results the claimant could ask the Magistrates Court to come to some other arrangement for payment and ask for the deductions to cease altogether. Kerr J held that the discretion as to the amount of the deduction had to be exercised by the Secretary of State. He granted permission to appeal, but refused a stay, applying SSWP v Payne [2011] EWCA Civ 492.

Richard Drabble QC (with Tom Royston) appeared for Mr Blundell and (with Michael Spencer) Mr Day.

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