Today, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in D.A. and others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. This judgment concerns the judicial review challenge to the revised, and significantly harsher, benefit cap legislation. The High Court held that the new cap did indeed discriminate unlawfully against lone parents of children under two years old (and such children), concluding that the cap had caused “real misery to no good purpose”.
The High Court judgment has been overturned by the Court of Appeal by a majority of two to one, based in particular on a different interpretation of the judgment in SG. Recognising the real public importance of the issues raised, the Court of Appeal has taken the unusual step of granting permission to appeal to the Supreme Court against its own judgment. As such, the lawfulness of the benefit cap is going to be considered again at the very highest level of the judicial system.
James Harvey, a Director at Economic Insight, was the expert economist for the claimants. James analysed labour market statistics to help evaluate whether or not the benefit cap had encouraged more single parents to work, as intended by the government.