New Judgment: Patmalniece v SSWP  UKSC 11
16 Wednesday Mar 2011
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 621.
Considers whether the conditions of entitlement to State Pension Credit were compatible with Regulation 1408/71, which prohibits discrimination between nationals of different Member States. Held: following ECJ authority, the conditions in the State Pension Credit Regulations 2002 are indirectly discriminatory. The majority (Lord Walker dissenting) held that the discrimination was justified because the 2002 Regulations are a proportionate response to the legitimate aim of protecting the UK public purse, and that this justification is independent of the claimant’s nationality. The aim of the conditions was to ensure that claimants were economically or socially integrated in the UK, or elsewhere in the Common Travel Area, thereby protecting the social security system against the risk of “benefit” or “social” tourism. The claimant argued that, as entitlement to SPC was extended to Irish nationals, it was discriminatory not to extend it to nationals of other Member States. The Court rejected that argument. The provision for Irish nationals in the conditions was protected by art 2 of the Protocol on the Common Travel Area, which provided that the UK and Ireland “may continue to make arrangements between themselves relating to the movement of persons between their territories”.