Benefit cap completes roll-out
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Communities, Finance
Iain Duncan Smith - Fact or Fiction?
The government's benefits cap begins its roll-out into the country's final council areas today.
Claims in the final 40 local authority regions will be capped at £500 a week for couples and those with children and at £350 a week for single people.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has claimed that around 40,000 households will be affected by the cap.
Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: "The benefit cap is a major step forward in creating a welfare state that actively helps people get back on their own two feet, instead of providing pay-outs that are out of reach of the average hard-working family.
"work, as those claiming working tax credit will be exempt and Universal Credit builds on this, ensuring claimants know they are better off in work than on benefits.
"It is clear the public support the benefit cap as for too long the taxpayer has propped up a broken system. This government is returning common sense to the welfare state at last."
The benefit cap applies to combined income from jobseeker’s allowance, income support, and employment and support allowance, and other benefits such as housing benefit, child benefit and child tax credit and carer’s allowance.
National Housing Federation lead manager Lizzie Clifford said: “The benefit cap will hit families with children hardest – especially in expensive areas like London, where half of people hit by the cap live. Those affected could face the stark choice of cutting back on essentials like food and heating or having to move long distances to look for cheaper places to live.
“We are particularly concerned about the impact on homeless families living in temporary accommodation while they wait for a permanent home. They have nowhere else to go, except for B&Bs or cheaper areas far away from their schools and support networks. The benefit cap will make this crucial safety net completely unviable in much of London and threatens to leave families in a vicious cycle of homelessness.
“The government should remove all housing costs from the cap until we see a long-term affordable house building programme that will drive down rents for everybody. At the very least, it must protect homeless families by exempting temporary accommodation from the cap.”