Reply To: Payment of Income to Third Parties


Remember also that Reg 9 is not a means-testing provision, it is there to control dodgy tenancies. This claimant is a Council tenant. Reg 9(1)(j) seems to me to be aimed at those claimants who are purportedly liable to make payments to the religious order that maintains them – even then, as the Jesus Fellowship cases confirm, the wholly maintained test is a tough one. I think a person would only be wholly maintained by a religious order if they are totally reliant on the order for all their needs – so that any work they do is done in their capacity as a member of the order and not in a private capacity. Like monks toiling in the monastery gardens and eating the stuff they grow. I suspect the true target of the religious order provision are those orange people (sorry if that sounds rude, I cannot remember the name of the organisation, but they are widely known as “the orange people” aren’t they?). Some of them run a vegan restaurant in Soho, but the proceeds are ploughed into the order and the people doing the graft get food and shelter from the order.

In this case, the claimant receives her income independently of the religious order and chooses to give it away – not our problem, she has the income available for her own use if she wants to. It’s a bit like the gimmick that Militant Tendency used to have in election literature for union posts and so on – if elected I will only draw the average wage of a worker in my sector. In fact, they would draw their full salary and donate some of it to Militant – in a social security means test they would be treated as possessing the full amount because it passes through their hands and they have control over it.