Single parents will ‘bear brunt’ of benefit cap
Emily Dugan is social affairs correspondent for The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday, covering Sarah Cassidy’s maternity leave. She was previously a news reporter for The Independent on Sunday. Her investigations into human trafficking have twice been awarded Best Investigative Article at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards and her human rights journalism was shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Memorial prize at the 2012 Amnesty Media Awards.
Wednesday 07 August 2013
Single parents will be disproportionately affected by the new benefit cap, according to official figures, which show three-quarters of those affected on the pilot scheme are bringing up children alone.
The cap on welfare payments, which will become universal at the end of September, will mean couples and single-parent families can get no more than £500 a week in welfare payments.
In the four local authorities piloting the scheme, Enfield, Croydon, Bromley and Haringey, 74 per cent of households affected were single-parents with dependents. Nearly 2,900 households had their benefits curtailed.
Overall, more than two-thirds of households had their benefits cut by £100 or less.
Gingerbread chief executive Fiona Weir said: “It is alarming. Single parents struggling to make ends meet are taking the brunt of the Government’s failure to address the underlying cause of housing benefit rises: the shortage of affordable housing.”
A DWP spokeswoman said: “The benefit cap sets a fair limit on how much people can expect from the welfare state. Figures published today only show the numbers in the four London boroughs. Local demographics will determine the characteristics of the capped households in these areas, so would not represent the national picture.”
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