We have today (23 October 2020) been refused permission to amend our client’s claim to challenge the failure of the Government to adequately support carers during the Covid-19 pandemic. This amendment was necessary after the Government belatedly identified that Carer’s Allowance could not be increased temporarily without new legislation.
This decision brings our client’s claim in the Administrative Court to a close but we are instructed to apply for permission to appeal in the Court of Appeal to continue the fight for increased financial support for carers during the pandemic. We continue to consider that Government’s decision to provide increased financial support to other groups but not to many carers of severely disabled people is discriminatory and irrational.
Jessie Brennan of Bindmans LLP says:
We are very disappointed and surprised that the Administrative Court has found that the Government does not have the power to grant financial aid to this cohort of unpaid carers who have been, and continue to be, so adversely affected by the pandemic. We hope that our application to the Court of Appeal will be successful so that the case of failing to provide increased financial support for this often overlooked group can be properly heard in court.
Amanda Batten CEO of Contact says:
We are disappointed with this decision, because we know how upsetting it will be for parent carers who feel left alone to cope through the pandemic. Many are facing raising costs and falling incomes, one in five think they will go into debt because of the pandemic. We urge the government to step in with financial help for carers struggling to make ends meet, this would also importantly send a message from government to all unpaid carers that they are valued at this difficult time.
Thank you again to Contact, Carers UK and the unpaid family carers who have assisted us in gathering evidence for this challenge.
The Claimant is represented by Jessie Brennan, Jamie Potter and Paradise Bidkalameh from Bindmans, who have instructed Steve Broach (39 Essex Chambers) and Alice Irving (Doughty Street Chambers).