34,000 households previously capped have moved into work

// HA News

The latest quarterly benefit cap statistics have been released by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Since the introduction of the cap in April 2013, 150,000 households have had their benefits capped. Around 81,000 of these are no longer capped, with 34,000 households having moved into work.

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke said "it is right that people who are out of work are faced with the same choices as those who are in work and these figures show that the benefit cap has been a real success. But behind these figures are thousands of people who are now better off in work and enjoying the benefits of a regular wage.

"With record levels of employment and over three quarters of a million vacancies at any one time, even more people have the opportunity to change their lives for the better."

The benefit cap incentivises work, including part-time work, as anyone eligible for Working Tax Credit (or the equivalent under Universal Credit) is exempt.

Responding to the latest benefit cap statistics, CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat CBE said "Homelessness has been steadily rising in all its forms since 2010 and we fear that the benefit cap could make things even worse.

"These new figures show that almost half of the households affected are losing more than £50 a week, which is likely to make it tough for people to afford their bills, rent and potentially even basic necessities. Almost three-quarters are single parent families, many with very young children – these are people who may find it incredibly difficult to escape the cap by finding work, given the cost of childcare and lack of flexible employment options.

"We think the government should take a step back and review welfare policies such as the benefit cap to make sure they are not obstructing housing policies designed to make sure people can access a decent home at a price they can afford."

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