Benefit Cap Causing Misery For Millions
Key welfare reform disproportionately affects ill or disabled people.
A government designed welfare reform, supposedly created to encourage people into work, is apparently leaving families with mounting debt and pushing poor children into deeper poverty. This is according to analysis seen by the Observer newspaper.
After a study of more than 10,000 benefit-capped households, it is suggested that the government’s benefit cap is ‘fuelling destitution’, as it was found that two-thirds of those households in the government’s benefit cap for more than six months were faced with a shortfall between monthly income and estimated costs.
Frank Field, the chair of the Commons work and pensions committee, said: “As with universal credit, the driver of this reform was meant to be getting people into work, and you can escape the cap if you do. But we know that for too many, especially those with young children, work simply doesn’t pay and is out of reach.
“If getting into work that pays isn’t a genuine, realistic possibility for each person affected by the cap, and they are as a result pushed to the brink of destitution, we must ask why, and ask also whether the cap should operate at all for this group.”
The Department for Work and Pensions said official statistics showed that seven in 10 households came off the cap eventually. It said help was being provided to single parents looking for appropriate work, and around 54,000 households were no longer subject to the cap.
Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, said: “The benefit cap ensures we have a fairer system – fair for the taxpayer and fair for claimants – as well as a system that incentivises work. So it’s not surprising that we now have the lowest unemployment figures since 1975.”