Government Rolls Out New Benefit Cap

England, Scotland and Wales are introducing an upper limit on working age benefits.

The benefits per week for couples and single parents will be £500 and those for single people will be £350.

What is included in this cap are things like jobseeker’s allowance, child benefit and housing benefit.

These changes are a part of the plan of the current government to discourage people living only on benefits and make them find jobs.

In case people who are already at work need to claim benefits they should know the changes will not affect them.

According to many critics these changes would not improve the situation in any way as they claim there are many people who want to find a place to work but these are not enough for everybody. By the way, don`t forget to check our employment documents.

Another thing the government was accused of was its unsuccessful trial to take into account the differences in living costs in different regions mainly talking about rent prices.

However, the work and pension secretary Duncan Smith said that the cap is based on the average household income.

“It ensures the taxpayer can have trust in the welfare system,” he said, “and it stops sky-high claims that make it impossible for people to move into work.”

In his view this limit will become a good reason for most people to start looking for a proper job.

Four London boroughs claim that the scheme is not well-developed and there would be many

problems in implementing it.

Many families are afraid they would be moved to areas with lower housing prices and because of this they could be forced out of their communities.



Housing Benefit Cuts Caused Debt Spiral

According to recent study, the housing benefit cut led to a debt spiral fro thousands of families in Merseyside.

The changes a.k.a the “bedroom tax” were announced in April and since then over 14 000 residents are now in rent arrears. The housing benefit cut aims at recipients, whose property has a bedroom, which is deemed to be surplus to requirements. May be at some point they will be forced to take loans and sign loan agreements in order to ensure they have somewhere to live.

By doing so, the government is trying to free up larger properties, so that families, who live in homes, too small for their needs could move into them.

It sounds good, however there is a lack of small properties, which can be hired by the “under occupiers”, which leads to additional expenditures for many peple, which puts them into a difficult financial situation.

The NHF (The National Housing Federation) collected information from 18 social  landlords in Merseyside and found out that almost 26,500 households were affected by the recent cuts, but there were only 155 smaller houses available for those people.

Chief executive of the National Housing Federation, David Orr, commented: “The fact is there aren’t enough smaller social homes in Merseyside for people to avoid the bedroom tax, even if they wanted to move.”

A Department of Work and Pensions spokesman, however, said: “We always monitor the impact of our policies carefully but there is no conclusive evidence that people affected by our housing benefit reforms are not getting the help they need.”