High court finds ordering rule for two-child limit exception 'perverse'

25 April 2018

The High Court has ruled that one of the Government’s key welfare reform policies, the two-child rule for tax credits and universal credit, is in part unlawful. On 18 August 2017, CPAG issued a claim for judicial review in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (SSWP) to challenge the two child limit, introduced by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. The case was heard in February 2018.

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 - in which a child element is available to three children if a family has two biological children and then takes on a child in kinship care, but not if the child in kinship care arrives first - 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. Read the judgment and our statement about the judgment.