Benefit figures published today by the Department for Work and Pensions show a shocking rise in the number of households affected by the benefit cap. 154,000 families across the country saw their benefits reduced by £248 per month on average in May, a 93% increase since February and the largest spike in capped households since April 2013.
Almost two thirds of families affected are single parent households. Shockingly 86% of currently capped households include children. Labour along with the IFS, Child Poverty Action Group and over 50 organisations called for the benefits cap to be suspended three months ago. The Government failed to listen, and as a result 150,000 families are now £248 a month worse off on average.
As family finances continue to struggle, Labour is calling on the Government to act now to suspend the cap so that those in the greatest need receive targeted support, and more families and children aren’t pushed into poverty by this Government’s actions.
Seema Malhotra MP, Labour’s Shadow Employment Minister, responding to the latest figures released on the benefit cap from the Department for Work and Pensions, said:
“These figures must serve as a wakeup call to the Government. Labour has repeatedly called on the Government to scrap the benefit cap to avoid the picture we are seeing today.
“This is a policy that is pushing children and families into poverty. With around eight job seekers for every vacancy, rising to 20 per vacancy in some parts of the country, this is a Government totally out of touch with the reality of people’s lives.
“The Government must target support at those most in need, rather than pursuing a one size fits all approach. Ending the benefit cap would put much-needed cash into the pockets of Britain’s poorest families, helping them through this crisis without a devastating increase in household debt.”