The Tory Government, as was, has been dealt another huge blow as the High Court judged that it’s benefit cap is illegal and unfairly discriminates against single parents who have young children.
This will cause the Conservative Party even more headaches and will probably force, another, u-turn of Government policy.
The cap limited the total benefit a household could receive to £20k and up to £23k in the capital.
The case was bravely brought by four lone parents who believed the cap adversely impacted on them.
Ministers had attempted to have the case thrown out but were rejected by the court, which instead ruled that the case must be heard as soon as possible.
The Government immediately announced that it will appeal against the ruling and said it had been granted permission to do so.
High Court judge Mr Justice Collins said the cap was causing “real damage” to lone parent families, and, “real misery is being caused to no good purpose”.
“The cap is capable of real damage to such as the claimants. They are not workshy but find it, because of the care difficulties, impossible to comply with the work requirement. Most lone parents with children under two are not the sort of households the cap was intended to cover… Real misery is being caused to no good purpose.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “We are disappointed with the decision and intend to appeal. Work is the best way to raise living standards, and many parents with young children are employed.
“The benefit cap incentivises work, even if it’s part-time, as anyone eligible for working tax credits or the equivalent under Universal Credit, is exempt. Even with the cap, lone parents can still receive benefits up to the equivalent salary of £25,000, or £29,000 in London and we have made Discretionary Housing Payments available to people who need extra help.”