- Coronavirus (COVID-19) grant schemes—ineligibility due to financial difficulties (R (on the application of Hussain) v Kirklees Borough Council)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Local Government analysis: Mr Hussain applied for a grant from his local authority, Kirklees Borough Council (the Council), under a government scheme which had been set up to give financial assistance to businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Such grants were not available to any business falling within the definition from EU law of an ‘undertaking in difficulty’. The Administrative Court had to decide whether Mr Hussain was an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ due to having been served with a statutory demand. Mr Hussain argued that unless bankruptcy proceedings were actually issued against him, he was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’. The court agreed with the Council that the service of a statutory demand on Mr Hussain made him an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ and therefore ineligible for a grant. The court reached this decision based on the language of the relevant EU legislation as well as on a common sense approach to the grant scheme’s goals. Written by Alexander Campbell, barrister at Field Court Chambers.
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