FDA and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Another: CA 20 Mar 2012

The FDA and other trades unions challenged the use by the respondent of the Consumer Price Index rather than the Retail Prices Index for use in the uprating of civil service pensions.
Held: The respondent was so entitled. In ordinary language, the change in CPI over a given period could properly be said to be a measure of the change in ‘general prices’ over that period. Aby common sense and in the light of the closing words of section 150(1) (‘estimated in such manner as the Secretary of State thinks fit’), there could be more than one way of measuring a change in general prices over a particular period.
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury MR said: ‘Where a decision-maker has taken a legally irrelevant factor into account when making his decision, the normal principle is that the decision is liable to be held to be invalid unless the factor played no significant part in the decision-making exercise . . Thus, in Simplex GE (Holdings) Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment (1988) 57 P and CR 306, 325-326, Purchas LJ (with whom the other two members of the Court of Appeal agreed) approved an observation of Forbes J in R v Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Ex p Cromer Ring Mill Ltd [1982] 3 All ER 761, 770, explaining that a decision would not be set aside where the irrelevant factor was ‘insignificant or insubstantial’, as opposed to a case where the irrelevant factor’s ‘influence was substantial.
Even where the irrelevant factor played a significant or substantial part in the decision-maker’s thinking, the decision may, exceptionally, still be upheld, provided that the court is satisfied that it is clear that, even without the irrelevant factor, the decision-maker would have reached the same conclusion. ‘
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury MR, Maurice Kay, Sullivan LJJ
[2012] EWCA Civ 332, [2012] Pens LR 215, [2013] 1 WLR 444, [2012] WLR(D) 95, [2012] 3 All ER 301
Bailii, WLRD
Social Security Administration Act 1992 150
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedMR, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 10-Mar-2017
The claimant challenged the use of the Royal Prerogative to withdraw his passport. He had as a youth been involved with a terrorist organisation, but said that he now regretted that and was no longer so involved. He had sought to set up a business, . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 24 March 2021; Ref: scu.452197