Flagship Conservative welfare policy does ‘real damage’ to single parents and ‘exacerbates poverty’, judge declares
The Government has been dealt a huge blow as the High Court ruled its benefit cap is unlawful and illegally discriminates against single parents with young children.
Conservative ministers are now likely to be forced to change or scrap one of their flagship welfare policies, which limits the total amount of benefits a household can receive to £23,000 a year in London and £20,000 elsewhere.
The ruling was made in response to a judicial review brought by four lone parent families who said the cap would have a severe and disproportionate impact on them.
Ministers had attempted to have the case thrown out but were rejected by the court, which ruled earlier this year that the case must be heard as a matter of urgency. The Government said it was “disappointed” with the latest ruling and will appeal against the decision.
Delivering his verdict, High Court judge Mr Justice Collins said the benefit cap was causing “real damage” to lone parent families, and, in a further blow to ministers, said “real misery is being caused to no good purpose”.