Dismay as law lords back hated benefit cap

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Five mums had appeals rejected at the Supreme Court

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16th May 2019 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Charities have hit out after a law lord dismissed a challenge to the controversial benefits cap for single parents.

Five mums had appeals rejected at the Supreme Court – the country’s highest.

The cap limits benefits to £20,000 – and campaigners claim this penalises those who find it difficult to get out to work, especially lone parents who have childcare difficulties.

Lawyers for the women had argued that the cap subjected single parents to “unjustified discrimination”.

However, Lord Wilson, announcing the decision and finding in favour of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), admitted the cap is “often harsh” on parents, but it had not breached their human rights.

Charities have expressed their dismal at the court’s ruling.

Polly Neate, head of Shelter UK, said it is a “blow to the many lone parents who are struggling to keep a roof over their children’s heads.

Meanwhile, Carla Clarke of the Child Poverty Action Group said the decision is “hugely disappointing”.

Rob Gowans, social Justice spokesperson at Citizen’s Advice Scotland, added: “This will be so disappointing for the families involved and for families across the country. Citizens Advice Scotland remains concerned about the hardship the benefit cap has had on people who have come into their local CAB for advice about it.

“The majority of people affected by the benefit cap are lone parents with three or more children, it’s simply not an option for them to take on a job or move to a smaller home. The UK government should take the opportunity to reconsider the policy in its entirety.”