Reply To: Extra Care Scheme

Peter Barker

Yes I think that is correct. A meal charge is only an ineligible service charge to the extent of the para 2 standard deductions – the part of the charge that exceeds those standard amounts is an eligible service charge and as such can be restricted under para 4 if it is excessive. I think the words “subject to paragraph 2” at the start of para 4 mean that, before you consider whether the meal charge is excessive, you must first deduct the para 2 amounts, but having done so you could then conclude that the remainder is excessive and restrict it.

The first time I heard that argument was in a Tribunal when the Judge asked me whether i wanted to argue tat the meal charge is unreasonably high. I said: why would I? It’s ineligible, but the deduction is always a fixed amount. The Judge and the claimant’s rep then exchanged glances, as this was not the first appeal by tenants of that scheme in that area with that rep. The Judge then set out the argument summarised above and invited me to comment. Obviously I wasn’t in a position to make any submission about it because I hadn’t researched the costs. I realised then why the appellant’s submission included a menu from the local cafe!