Capping benefits is a key part of the coalition’s economic plan and welfare reforms to create opportunities for hardworking people and fix the broken system. New statistics show the full impact of the benefit cap for the first time – following the successful national roll-out completed this autumn.
Nineteen thousand people living in households potentially affected by the benefit cap have now moved into work and 28,500 households were capped by October 2013.
Intensive support from Jobcentre Plus has led to 35,800 claimants taking up offers of extra help to find employment, as those entitled to Working Tax Credit are exempt from the benefit cap.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:
These figures highlight our commitment to support those who want to work hard and get on and to end benefit dependency.
We had to fix the broken welfare system. The benefit cap means claimants no longer receive more in benefits than hard-working households’ average earnings and Universal Credit ensures being in work pays – making the welfare system fair for claimants and the taxpayer that funds it.
Jobcentre Plus teams have been helping potentially capped claimants into work over the last 18 months, including John Enstone, 39, from Leamington Spa, and Michelle Hall, 40, from Southampton.
With support from Jobcentre Plus, Mr Enstone, a lone parent of 5 children aged between 6 and 16, completed training and voluntary work to boost his CV and increase chances to get into work as an electrician. He would have been affected by the benefit cap, but is now self employed running his own business Enstone Electrical.
Mr Enstone said:
I first got custody of the children in 2009 and since then I haven’t sat around doing nothing. I went to college to train as an electrician. You are never going to get a job if you sit around playing computer games. I started my business in June this year and it started a bit slow, but I am really busy now. It is absolutely brilliant as I never wanted to be unemployed and on benefits. I want to set a good example to my children. I’m hoping in 10 years’ time when my boys need a job I can help them out.
Michelle Hall, 40, a lone parent with 4 children aged 2, 9, 11 and 15, has started work in Sainsbury’s. She last worked in 2010 as a teaching assistant.
Ms Hall said:
I am hoping to stay part-time and when my youngest starts full-time at school to go full-time. I started looking for work in April and my children saw my confidence get knocked when I was turned down for jobs, so they were pleased when I got this one. It’s been good for my confidence and my self-esteem and financially we are better off.
See the first set of statistics entitled Benefit cap – number of households capped, data to October 2013, GB
The figures cover the period from April 2013 to October 2013. The exact date in October varies between local authorities depending when in the month they send figures to DWP.
See the second set of statistics entitled Jobcentre Plus activity regarding claimants who have been identified as potentially impacted by the benefit cap
The figures cover the period from May 2012 to 8 November 2013.
The benefit cap applies to combined income from the main out-of-work benefits, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, and Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and other benefits such as Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit and Carer’s Allowance.
In recognition of their additional needs, all households which include somebody who is receiving the following benefits will be exempt from the cap:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Industrial Injuries Benefit
- War Disablement Pension and the equivalent payments from the Armed Forces Compensation Payments Scheme
- Attendance Allowance
- the support component of Employment and Support Allowance
People who receive a War Widows or Widowers Pension will be exempt, as a part of the government’s commitment to those serving or who have served in the Armed Forces and to their dependants.
The benefit cap does not affect households where a member is entitled to Working Tax Credit, increasing the incentive to find work.
There will be a ‘grace period’ during which the benefit cap will not be applied for 39 weeks to those who have been continuously in work for the previous 12 months.
Potentially affected claimants were first contacted in April 2012 with offers of support from Jobcentre Plus.
The benefit cap started with 4 London boroughs in April 2013 and the national implementation was completed at the end of September 2013.
Media enquiries for this press release – 0203 267 5123
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