Welfare Benefits Law: R (on the application of SG and others) v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] UKSC 16

Read the full case here and the press summary here.

This case concerned a challenge the benefit cap that was imposed on non-working households.

The Benefit Cap (Housing Benefit) Regulations 2012 limited the amount that a non-working single person could claim in benefits to £350 per week and £500 for those with dependents. The question was whether it was lawful for the Secretary of State to make subordinate legislation imposing a cap on the amount of welfare benefits that could be received. The legislation was challenged under the Human Rights Act 1998. It was argued that the cap constituted indirect discrimination between men and women, contrary to Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) read with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 ECHR (right to property). The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal finding that the benefit cap did not constitute unjustified discrimination against single mothers. Lady Hale and Lord Kerr dissenting.

There was a detailed analysis of whether the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is incorporated into domestic law.


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