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Axe-the-Tax blasts 'gross injustice' of PIP delays

CAMPAIGNER River Axe-the-Tax blasted the “gross injustice” of the “shockingly slow” appeals process today after successfully beating a decision that denied him personal independence payments (PIP).

Mr Axe-the-Tax — who legally changed his name in protest at the bedroom tax — has had his case sent back to the first-tier tribunal (FTT) after an upper tribunal judge agreed the earlier decision contained a “material error of law.”

A decision published last week revealed both the upper tribunal and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) agreed that the FTT’s decision should be set aside.

The FTT decision did not accept hygiene issues were part of Mr Axe-the-Tax’s ability to prepare food in his kitchen to an acceptable standard.

But Judge Stewart Wright said that “keeping the food preparation and cooking areas clean” was “plainly” relevant to whether food preparation was done to an acceptable standard.

He also agreed there was an “unexplained inconsistency” in the tribunal finding that Mr Axe-the-Tax — who suffers from depression — needed prompting to keep the bathing area clean, but not to prepare food in a clean area.

Judge Wright found that “if there was no basis for that inconsistency” Mr Axe-the-Tax “would have qualified for the standard rate of the daily living component of PIP”.

Mr Axe-the-Tax told the Star: “While it is great to win, and this judgement may also help others, the reality is that I still have to go back to the FTT to ask yet again for the benefit.”

He said that when the case is heard by the FTT again it could mean someone in May this year would be “deciding if somebody needed some money in October 2016 [which is] in itself a gross injustice”.

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