Research and analysis

Benefit cap: public attitudes before and after its introduction

Findings of public attitudes to the benefit cap and early effects on some claimants who had got additional support before the cap was introduced.

Documents

Benefit cap: public perceptions and pre-implementation effects: report

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Benefit cap: public perceptions and pre-implementation effects: summary

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Detail

By Ipsos MORI

The benefit cap is one of the government’s most prominent reforms to welfare. Intended as a work incentive, it places a limit on the amount of benefits that out of work households can get.

This quantitative research looked at public attitudes to the benefit cap as well as some of the early effects on a specific group of claimants who had received additional Jobcentre Plus support before full implementation of the policy.

Two different survey methods were used to gather evidence on these 2 issues:

  • a nationally representative online survey among 2,017 British adults was used to assess perceptions of the general public
  • a telephone survey of 500 people identified as ending an out of work benefit claim due to starting a job was used to assess pre-implementation effects

Both surveys were conducted between 31 May 2013 and 5 June 2013.

Survey results suggest strong public support for the benefit cap and indicate a potential relationship between notification or awareness of the cap and moving into work. We have used this research to advise ministers and officials of:

  • public opinion with regard to the government’s introduction of the benefit cap
  • the degree of support for the level at which the cap has been set
  • the impact of the department’s communications around the introduction of the cap
  • the actions households who were warned they might be affected by the cap have taken to mitigate its potential impacts
  • areas where additional support could be targeted to help those likely to be affected

This research forms part of a broader evaluation of the benefit cap.

If you have any queries about this report, please contact the Housing Research and Analysis Team at: housing.research@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Read more about the benefit cap