The High Court ruled last week that the £26,000 household benefit cap unlawfully discriminates against carers. Instead of abolishing it for carers, however, the DWP issued an urgent bulletin to local councils warning them that it continues to apply.
A High Court judge has decided that the benefits cap is in breach of article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, particularly where it applies to single carers who are receiving carers allowance for looking after a family member.
However, immediately following the decision, the DWP issued an urgent housing benefit bulletin to local authorities which made it plain that it is in no rush to do anything about a judgement which it has had a great deal of time to prepare for.
In the course of the two page bulletin, the DWP made its position abundantly and repeatedly clear:
“We are continuing to apply the benefit cap as now, and there is no change to applying the cap to carers. . . We are considering the judgment and will set out our position in due course. The cap continues to apply. . . The benefit cap continues to apply. . . the cap continues to apply.”
Once again it appears that the DWP considers that laws only apply to claimants, not to the department.