Single mums are being hit hardest by benefits limit
NEARLY everyone in Kirklees who has lost money because of the Government’s benefit cap is a single mother, new analysis has revealed.
A recent report from the Labour Party revealed that nationally, single females with at least one dependent child make more than 85 per cent of all individuals who have had their benefits capped.
But analysis of Department for Work and Pensions data by the Examiner has shown that the situation in our area is even worse.
The figures reveal that as of August 2018, 652 single adult households have had their benefits slashed due to the cap. Single mothers account for 597 of these – or 92 percent of the total. In Calderdale the proportion is even higher at 94 percent.
A further 347 couples in Kirklees have had their benefits capped, as have 13 households where the relationship status and sex of the claimant is unknown, bringing the total number of households affected to 1,012.
Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, director of UK Women’s Budget Group, said the figures came as no surprise.
She said: “The Government was warned when it first introduced the benefit cap that it would hit women with dependent children hardest, but they continued.
“Social security should be based on need, not an arbitrary limit introduced to make the Government look tough, with little regard to the impact on the lives of those pushed further into poverty.”
The benefit cap was first introduced in 2013, and was put in place to limit the amount of benefits a household can receive.
As of November 2016, the cap was set at £20,000 a year (£384.62 a week) for couples and single parents outside Greater London.
The cap drops to £13,400 a year (£257.69 a week) for single people without children living with them. Most benefits are included under the cap, including Universal Credit, Job- seekers’ Allowance, Income Support, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit.
Controversially it also includes Housing Benefit, despite it being paid straight to landlords – and this is the benefit that is actually being cut.
This means households seeing their benefits slashed by the cap will be paying more rent out of their own pockets, making housing potentially unaffordable to many of the poorest people in the country.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd this week announced that controversial plans to retrospectively extend the two-child benefit cap to new Universal Credit claimants are to be scrapped.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd
Single mums bear brunt of cap