High Court upholds Home Secretary’s policy on recourse to public funds

20 Jun 2014 | by Caroline Sweeney

The High Court has rejected a challenge to the Home Secretary’s “no recourse to public funds” policy. Under the Home Secretary’s policy, a foreign national granted permission to stay in the UK on the basis that she has a family life here cannot claim welfare benefits unless she is destitute or there are compelling reasons relating to the welfare of a child.

In a judgment handed down on 20 June, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker rejected a claim that the policy was incompatible with the Home Secretary’s statutory duty to have regard to the welfare of children in the UK. In a decision that illustrates the margin of discretion afforded to Ministers in matters of public policy, the Judge concluded that the policy accorded due weight to the welfare of children and that, in those circumstances, the Court could not strike down a public policy choice made by the elected government even if it disagreed with it.

Ben Lask acted for the Home Secretary.

Please click here to download the NS v Secretary of State Home Office Judgment.