The government is rolling out a cap on household benefits for out of work households, meaning that out of work households will be unable to receive more in benefits than average earnings for a working household. It is set at around £500 per week per household for couples and lone parents. The benefit cap is expected to be implemented fully accross the country by the end of September.
The cap is intended to promote fairness between those in work and those receiving out of work benefits, and to promote incentives to move into work. The government estimates that 40,000 households will be affected by the cap, losing £93 a week on average in benefit receipt.
Children will be disproportionately affected by the introduction of the benefit cap, with 140,000 children compared to 60,000 adults. Children are seven times more likely than adults to lose out.
The benefit cap is being introduced under the premise that it is unfair that some households receive more in out-of-work benefits than other households receive in work. It is intended to address those adults who are able to work but are unprepared to do so. However, its own figures clearly show that the largest group to be affected are children. We fully support efforts to make work pay, but it is not right to achieve this by putting more children on the breadline.
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