Last week DWP published the latest benefit cap statistics showing the number of households capped up to May 2015.
A total of 62,600 households have now been capped at some point during the policies duration, with 45 per cent of those affected in London and 91 per cent having dependent children.
The statistics also show that there were a 22,500 households capped in May, a small 3 per cent drop on the 23,100 capped in February. But what is most interesting about these statistics is that for the first time they provide a full breakdown of capped households by benefit type. Shockingly this reveals that 85% of those households capped in May 2015, or 19,125 claimants, were in receipt of a benefit which meant they aren’t currently expected to work.
21 per cent of capped households were in receipt of ESA, meaning they have been deemed too sick or disabled to work, 49 per cent were on income support, meaning they were most likely to be a single parent with a child under that age of five and therefore unable to work, and 6 per cent were receiving carers allowance. Only 15 per cent were claiming Jobseekers Allowance and therefore currently looking for and able to work.
What this means is that, although Ministers claim the main aim of the benefit cap is to incentivise claimants to work, only a small minority of those affected are actually in a position to move into work. What then is the cap meant to achieve for the majority of households unable to work?
Because this the first time such statistics have been published it makes it difficult for us to see how this breakdown has changed over time, however there are some figures that can help give us an idea. DWP’s initial Impact Assessment in January 2012 estimated that 40 per cent of those affected would be in receipt of JSA. However, this figure was revised down to 34 per cent in July 2012, and the estimated proportion of those affected given in last years independent review is around 25 per cent.
Read more about this here: http://z2k.org/2015/08/latest-statistics-show-majority-of-benefit-cap-households-unable-to-work/