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Judicial review of two child limit - permission granted

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Ros White
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Hi all

Good news - CPAG has been granted permission to apply for judicial review of the two child limit and the case will now go forward to a full hearing but probably not before Christmas.

Here’s a link to our test case page on the challenge -

http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/two-child-limit-challenge

best Ros

Daphne
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Great news Ros - and a useful template on that page for people requesting a mandatory reconsideration of a decision imposing the two child limit.

Ros White
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Yes, we’re encouraging everyone to challenge decisions that the two child limit applies - can put in request for MR and then ask for appeal to be stayed behind our JR challenge when it gets to tribunal stage.

grant
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Excellent news. Where would we be without CPAG? Ever though of opening an office in Liverpool?

Ros White
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I’ll suggest it to powers that be 😊

stevenmcavoy
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grant - 17 October 2017 01:20 PM

Excellent news. Where would we be without CPAG? Ever though of opening an office in Liverpool?

cpag scotland are a huge help as well.  adviser line has saved me a good few hours/anxiety by double checking some of my cases with me.

Ros White
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Great to hear that - thanks Steven.

The Guardian has just published a good article on the JR challenge -

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/17/two-child-limit-on-benefit-claims-to-be-challenged-in-court

bristol_1
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So in practical terms for claimants affected, at what point can they put in a challenge? Will the tax credits office issue a decision on entitlement which lacks a child element for the additional child which the client can MR - I’m assuming the claimant needs to contact tax credits notifying about the new child in order to get this decision?
I can forsee clients not contacting the tax credits office as they know they won’t get paid, and then not having a decision to MR. Or tax credits not realising that they need to issue an award notice/decision. Could those claimants put in a late MR against the current year’s tax credit award notice if no entitlement decision is issued?

Ros White
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Yes, claimants should notify HMRC about a new child and then get a decision that tax credits aren’t payable for that child which can be challenged. I agree that people might not notify - nothing to stop them notifying later on and getting appealable decision at that stage. Could also put in late MR if decision issued a while ago and hasn’t been challenged.

In terms of HMRC, they should know to issue a decision when notified about new child- we’d be interested in hearing if that doesn’t happen.

Ros White
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Do any of you have a client who has been affected by the two child limit because they have adopted children or taken on children as a kinship carer before having a child of their own?

We’d really like a client in that position for our judicial review challenge to demonstrate the arbitrary effect of the ordering which means that someone in the above position is affected by the limit but someone who has their own children and then takes on another child through adoption or kinship care is exempt.

If anyone does have such a client who’d be willing to be part of our challenge, please do contact us via a test case referral-

http://www.cpag.org.uk/test-case-referrals

Thanks very much, Ros

Ros White
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News just in - we’ve been given dates for the High Court hearing of our two-child rule challenge - 6 and 7 February 2018.

Stuart
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From CPAG -

Judgment was given on 20 April 2018 allowing the challenge in part.  The Court accepted CPAG’s arguments that the ordering restriction on the kinship care exception was perverse and therefore unlawful.  The wider challenge to the policy as a whole was dismissed.  CPAG is looking to appeal this aspect of the case.

http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/two-child-limit-challenge

Stuart
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from CPAG’s solicitor, Carla Clarke -

This is an important in-road into a flagship welfare reform policy. The irrationality of limiting the exception for children cared for in kinship arrangements to third or subsequent children has been raised on numerous occasions by various bodies, yet rather than accepting such legitimate criticisms and removing the restriction, it has required taking the DWP to court for the unlawfulness to be properly recognised.

and on the general challenge to the two child limit -

This is a policy which is not simply about what level of benefits predominantly working families are entitled to. Rather, it is a policy which necessarily encroaches upon very personal and intimate decisions about family size and planning and treats some children as less deserving of a benefit intended to meet their basic needs purely because of their birth order. We do not agree with the judge’s findings on the various human rights arguments and will look to appeal this case further.

http://cpag.org.uk/content/high-court-finds-two-child-rule-exception-perverse

ClairemHodgson
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here is the actual decision:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2018/864.html

last sentence:

[/quote]
Overall conclusion

218. Subject to that exception the kinship carer point], I find that the two child provision is compatible with the ECHR, and I dismiss the application.[/quote]

he was quite scathing about the kinship carer issue…...

Daphne
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CPAG tweeting that the government will not appeal the kinship care ruling - https://twitter.com/CPAGUK/status/989453557131874304

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Daphne - 26 April 2018 12:00 PM

CPAG tweeting that the government will not appeal the kinship care ruling - https://twitter.com/CPAGUK/status/989453557131874304

That’s nice of them….