Law Report: Disabled Persons' Holiday Policy Unlawful
A council's policy in relation to the provision of financial assistance for holidays for disabled persons, by which it met only the additional costs of the holiday resulting from the disability and not the basic costs of the disabled person's holiday, was unlawful.
Mr Justice Latham declared the council's policy to be unlawful, and quashed its decision not to provide assistance in relation to the basic holiday costs of the applicant's disabled sister.
In accordance with its policy the council had decided to make financial assistance for a holiday available to the applicant, as his sister's carer, consisting of his full board and travel costs, and a contribution to the overall travel costs of the holiday. No assistance was provided in relation to his sister's basic holiday costs. Jennifer Richards (Crombie Wilkinson) for the applicant; Roger McCarthy (Council Solicitor) for the council. Mr Justice Latham said that the short point taken on behalf of the applicant was that the council having identified his sister's need as the requirement for a two week holiday, its obligation under section 2(1)(f) of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 to "facilitiate" that holiday should include consideration of some provision for the basic cost of that holiday. The applicant accepted that the obligation was one which which gave a discretion to the council. That would not have been the case if the obligation had been to "provide" a holiday, which was the word used in relation to other services identified in section 2(1) of the 1970 Act. He submitted, however, that by excluding the basic cost of the holiday to the disabled person, the council had unlawfully fettered its discretion. The council contended that the intention of Parliament was not to relieve poverty, which was the province of other statutory provisions, but to relieve disabled persons so far as possible of the added financial burden imposed by their disability. The council's obligations could not include an obligation to "facilitate" by the provision of the ordinary cost of a holiday which any person, whether disabled or not, would be expected to meet out of their own funds. The applicant's submission was correct. The respondent's principal argument, namely that the legislation was not intended to provide relief from poverty, but relief from …
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Publication information: Article title: Law Report: Disabled Persons' Holiday Policy Unlawful. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: May 2, 1997. Page number: 16. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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