COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSIONERS
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
Thursday 1st March 2001
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE WARD
LORD JUSTICE BUXTON
| MUSTAFA YILDIZ
|- and -
|SECRETARY OF STATE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 190 Fleet Street
London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7421 4040, Fax No: 020 7831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
(instructed by Leigh Day & Co for the Appellant)
Miss Nathalie Lieven
(instructed by Solicitor to the DSS for the Respondent)
Crown Copyright ©
LORD JUSTICE BUXTON :
"... all asylum seekers who are in receipt of Income Support….when the new regulations take effect will retain entitlement to these benefits up to the point of the next decision made on their asylum claim."
"12(1) Where before the coming into force of these Regulations [i.e. 5 February 1996] a person who becomes an asylum seeker under…the Income Support Regulations…is entitled to benefit under …those Regulations those provisions of those Regulations as then in force shall continue to have effect as if regulation…8(3)(c)…of these Regulations had not been made.
12(2) [makes similar provision in respect of persons in respect of whom undertakings of support had been given by other persons].
12(3) Where before the coming into force of these Regulations a person is receiving attendance allowance [or other identified medically-related benefits]…the Attendance Allowance Regulations [and the regulations relating to the other benefits dealt with in this sub-regulations] shall, until such time as his entitlement to that benefit is reviewed under section 25 or 30 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 have effect as if [the provisions in the 1996 Regulations equivalent to regulation 8(3)(c)] had not been made."
"It would be inept to speak of someone who once was, but no longer is, entitled to benefit as a person as regards whom the provisions 'continue' to have effect. For something to continue it must exist. It cannot be something that once existed but no longer exists"
"On my reading of regulation 12, there is a theme that clearly runs through all three paragraphs. Put crudely, it is that protection is given to preserve rights that existed on 4 February 1996, but that protection is brought to an end at the first decent opportunity. That means at the end of the current award of benefits of last resort and at the first review, if earlier, for the other benefits."
LORD JUSTICE WARD:
"Although the impact of these regulations on these particular individuals will plainly be severe - indeed particularly in the case of Vijeikis very harsh, because the effect of the decision is to penalise him and his family for trying to find work and avoid, as is now the current phrase, "dependency" - the proper interpretation of these regulations does not, in my judgment, permit a more generous construction of them than would otherwise be appropriate when their meaning is clear."
"... those provisions of those Regulations as then in force shall continue to have effect as if regulation ... 8(3)(c) ... of these Regulations had not been made."
"... the purpose of the 1996 Regulations is plain and obvious. It is, inter alia," (I emphasise those two words) "to curtail the rights to benefit of asylum seekers."
"The Government has therefore decided to amend substantially the effect of the regulations on asylum seekers who are in receipt of benefits when the regulations come into force. The effect will be that all asylum seekers who are in receipt of Income Support ... when the new regulations take effect will retain entitlement to those benefits up to the point of the next decision made on their asylum claim."
"On my reading of regulation 12 there is a theme that clearly runs through all three paragraphs. Put crudely, that is that protection is given to preserve rights that existed on 4th February 1996, but that protection is brought to an end at the first decent opportunity."
LORD JUSTICE HENRY: