Public Bodies, Vulnerable Clients and the Disability Discrimination Act

April 18, 2011

Does the decision in the recent case of Haworth v Cartmel have implications far beyond insolvency in terms of the way HMRC (and other public bodies) deal with vulnerable individuals?

Ms Haworth suffered from mental health issues, including a phobia of opening letters. In August 2005, HMRC received an anonymous tip-off that she was trading as a commercial horse breeder, and they subsequently raised a Determination claiming £192,000 in undeclared tax.

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Money woes linked to rise in depression

April 3, 2011

So reads the headline on the BBC News website, over a story that prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs like Prozac have risen by some 43% over the past four years.

The story has been picked up by many newspapers, with headlines like “Economic gloom fuelling rise in depression” (Independent); “Recession linked to huge rise in use of antidepressants” (Telegraph) and “Economic slump fuels 43% rise in use of anti-depressants” (Mail). According to the reports GPs and mental health charities are being contacted increasingly by people struggling with worries over their debts.

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