Amber Rudd has announced that the controversial two-child benefit cap for Universal Credit will be relaxed – just as it was revealed that four single mothers had defeated the DWP in the courts over Universal Credit assessments.
The Work and Pensions Secretary fell short of scrapping the child benefit cap altogether – a long-requested step from child poverty campaigners. But Rudd said that the cap was “unfair” so will not be retrospectively applied to children born before the policy was introduced in April 2017, potentially helping 15,000 families.
Watch live: a speech about #UniversalCredit by Work and Pensions Secretary @AmberRuddHR. Via @PeriscopeTVhttps://t.co/k8AYWFv2qz
— DWP Press Office (@dwppressoffice) January 11, 2019
However, while she was outlining the plans for the benefits system, vocal child benefit cap critics Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) announced the news from High Court that the DWP had lost a judicial review having been found to have interpreted UC regulations incorrectly.
The four mothers lost several hundreds of pounds each year and were subject to large variations in their universal credit awards because of the dates on which their paydays and universal credit ‘assessment periods’ happened to fall.
When they clashed with bank holidays or weekends, for example, the claimants received fluctuating amounts – sometimes receiving two payments and receiving nothing in other months, resulting “severe cashflow problems”.