Benefit Cap Roll Out Begins

The roll out of a benefit cap has begun in England, Scotland and Wales, with couples and lone parents capped at £500 a week and a £350 cap for single people.

It is part of the largest overhaul of the benefits system since the 1940s, with the Department of Work and Pensions estimating that some 40,000 households will be affected.

A revision of the benefit system was lead by Iain Duncan Smyth, who claimed that people where being discouraged from looking for work due to the current system.

Critics however have argued that the revisions fail to tackle underlying issues, including the cost of housing and the difficulty in finding work.

The key benefits affected by the cap include: jobseeker's allowance, child benefit, child tax credits and housing benefits.

Disability Living Allowance, its successor the Personal Independence Payment, and industrial injuries benefit and war widow or widower's pension will not be affected by the cap.

It is claimed that the cap has been introduced to bring benefits in line with the average family income, with Mr Duncan Smyth saying: "The limit of £500 a week ensures no-one claims more in benefits than the average household and there is a clear reason for people to get a job - as those eligible for Working Tax Credit are exempt."

The cap is expected to be fully implemented by September 30, when it will become part of the Universal Credit System.


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