Response to the latest benefit cap statistics

Responding to today's new benefit cap figures from the DWP, Katie Schmuecker, Head of Policy at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:

“The benefit cap hits lone parents and those with pre-school children hardest. It makes people who are already struggling poorer, while doing little to tackle the reasons that benefit spending is so high in the first place.

“In November, the Government brought in a new, lower cap and introduced a different rate for inner London. This latest set of figures shows the impact of these decisions. As well as increasing the number of families facing the cap, from 20,000 in November to 68,000 today, households affected by the cap are now spread throughout the country.

“The government’s own evaluation showed that the benefit cap has had only a small impact on people moving into work. This is perhaps not surprising given that those most affected have very young children. To make a serious, long-term reduction to the benefits bill the Government must tackle the high cost of housing. The Government should scrap the benefits cap and instead focus on addressing the serious lack of genuinely affordable housing.”