Reply To: is FTT decision correct?

Mike Hughes

Behaviour of judge around data protection was patently nonsense. You would ask the appellant for consent to show the phone to the PO; the appellant would risk killing the appeal if they said no and so on you crack. Does it make any material difference at this point or lead to an error of law? Struggling to see it tbh. At best you win at UT; go back to FTT and (hopefully) see the contents of the phone. As it merely confirms what you have already been told then what’s the gain?

The audit line was optimistic at best. These matters are determined on the balance of probabilities and that seems to be what the tribunal have done. Had the appellant withheld their phone from the judge the outcome may have been different but they didn’t so…

Easy to forget that many claimants do not have smartphones; have phones from which you can neither print nor screen shot and that printer poverty (having broadband and maybe a PC or phone but not a printer) is very much a significant issue nowadays albeit not talked about in HB teams or similar.

I’d also challenge anyone to get 18 months of bank statements from your bank. Trying that would open a fair few eyes as to same of the starker issues claimants face. Even if available there would be a cost attached and, having recently needed to obtain an old statement myself, I can tell you that the cost is often disproportionate and eye watering to say nothing of the delays, which even I kicked off about (5 months to get 1 piece of paper in my case and a lot of arguing to boot). I paid up very reluctantly for what was 1 sheet and a nice sum for my building society. 18 months worth and multiple sheets would likely run into double figures and I’ve had 1 bank cite a claimant a 3 figure sum for 2 years worth. Few appellants would be able to afford that.