High Court rules single parents benefits cap causes ‘real misery to no good purpose’

Single parents with a child under two have won a High Court challenge over the government’s benefits cap with the judge calling it discriminatory.

The cap limits the income households receive in certain benefits to £23,000 for those in London and £20,000 a year outside London. Parents can avoid the cap if they work over 16 hours a week.

The solicitor who represented the four parents who took out the case said  they were unable to work the 16 hours because of difficulties getting and paying for childcare. The High Court ruled the cap on single parents of children under two causes ‘real misery to no good purpose’. The government says it will appeal.

Ellen Broomé, Chief Executive at the Family and Childcare Trust welcomed the ruling. She said: We welcome the High Court’s recognition that childcare challenges can make it impossible for some lone parents to move into work.

“The Family and Childcare Trust submitted in evidence to the High Court that single parents with young children are often frozen out of work by the high costs and patchy availability of childcare – effectively torpedoing single parents’ ability to boost their social mobility. The Government must make sure all parents are better off working once they have paid for childcare.”

 



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