Belfast Telegraph

Budget loan case 'may shake up benefits system'

By Alan Erwin

An unemployed Co Tyrone man's High Court challenge to being denied a budgeting loan could result in UK-wide reforms to the benefits system, it's been claimed.

Raymond Archer's lawyer made the prediction as he was granted leave to seek a judicial review over allegations of suffering discrimination in requests for financial help.

He claims to have been unfairly classed as ineligible for receiving contributions-based, rather than income-based, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The refusal to properly consider his budgeting loan applications last November and in April was unlawful, his legal team argued.

It was stated that he has contributed to society by previously paying tax and national insurance, while those on income-based ESA have not.

He worked in factories and as a labourer until being seriously injured in a car accident which left him with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to his affidavit.

With repayments continuing on a crisis loan received last December, he is currently on £64.50 a week benefits. Mr Archer described himself as desperate and in urgent need of the money.

Belfast Telegraph

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