Mike Spencer

  • Single mothers lose legal challenge to the benefit cap

    Issue 237 (December 2013)
    article

    Three single-parent families lost their judicial review challenge to the regulations implementing the £500 weekly cap on benefits in R(JS and others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2013] EWHC 3350 (QB). Mike Spencer discusses the ruling and the implications for other families affected by the benefit cap.

  • 'Bedroom tax' - exemptions and legal challenges

    Issue 233 (April 2013)
    article

    In Bulletin 232, we examined the rules restricting the housing benefit (HB) entitlement of social sector tenants who are deemed to have excess bedrooms. Since then two new exemptions have been announced, the government has dropped its appeal against a CPAG test case in the Supreme Court and a number of judicial review challenges have been launched. Mike Spencer explores these developments.

  • EU court upholds equality for pregnant workers

    June 19, 2014
    press release

    A landmark ruling today from the EU’s highest court has upheld the rights of pregnant EU nationals to equal treatment when claiming benefits.   The European Court of Justice ruled that a French national who was working in the UK and had to give up work because of the late stages of pregnancy should be entitled to income support.

    Read more
  • From bedroom to courtroom: challenging the ‘bedroom tax’

    Issue 236 (October 2013)
    article

    There have been several recent challenges to the much criticised bedroom tax/removal of the spare room subsidy. CPAG’s Legal Officer Mike Spencer gives an update and advice on how affected tenants can appeal.

  • Promoting fairness? Lowering the benefit cap will push more families into poverty

    Share

    This autumn the benefit cap will be cut, squeezing low-income families even further and pushing more people into poverty. The Welfare Reform & Work Act 2016 lowers the cap to £23,000 per annum for families (or £15,410 for single claimants) in London and £20,000 for families (or £13,400 for single claimants) outside of London. There are currently 3.9 million children living in poverty. Projections from the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests that child poverty could rise by 50 per cent by 2020. Tightening the cap and taking away more support from low-income households will have a devastating effect on families and children.

  • The Future of Judicial Review

    Speech to the Human Rights Lawyers' Association 26 June 2014

    It’s hardly surprising that politicians tend not to like having the lawfulness of their decisions questioned by the Courts. Like any frustrated litigant, when a Minister loses a judicial review case he or she is more likely to blame the judge than their own decision-making, whereas when they win, they’re quick to criticise the Claimant for bringing the case in the first place.

  • Tribunal ruling on DLA entitlement for disabled refugee children


    Share

    CPAG welcomes the Upper Tribunal decision on disabled refugee children who up to now, have not been entitled to disability living allowance (DLA) until they have spent over two years in the UK. On 17 March 2016, Judge Kate Markus QC found that the current past presence test unjustifiably discriminates against refugees and their family members and should therefore be dis-applied.

  • ‘Bedroom tax’ legal hearing for children with overnight care needs

    14 May 2014
    news

    Child Poverty Action Group is acting for Susan and Paul Rutherford today at the High Court in a judicial review challenge to the ‘bedroom tax’. They care for their 13 year old grandchild, Warren, in a specially adapted home that includes a room for overnight carers to stay in.

    Read more