JRF responds to legacy benefits High Court ruling

Today's judgement does not reflect the injustice of excluding around two million people on legacy benefits from the £20 uplift.

Responding to today’s High Court ruling on the legality of the Department of Work and Pensions’ decision not to extend the £20 uplift to people on legacy benefits, Iain Porter, Policy and Partnerships Manager for the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

“The judgement today does not reflect the injustice of excluding around two million people on legacy benefits from the £20 uplift. This uplift was a lifeline to families on Universal Credit and tax credits, improving support when benefit levels were no longer able to protect families from hardship and hunger. It was wrong that households on legacy benefits, the majority of whom are disabled, sick or have caring responsibilities, were left out of this crucial improvement to support, simply for being in a different part of the system.

“Despite widespread warnings, including from its own MPs, the government removed this £20 from Universal Credit and tax credits, meaning that the basic rate of benefits, including legacy benefits, are at a real terms 30-year low. Too many families are going without the essentials and now, without urgent action from government, these families are facing another real-terms cut. The planned April uprating of benefits is less than half the expected level of inflation, meaning families on the lowest incomes will be hundreds of pounds worse off, just when they most need support.”