New research by Tower Hamlets Council has shown the Government’s benefit cap is disproportionately hitting children.
Analysis of Department for Work and Pensions data shows that a total of 1997 households had their benefits capped between September 2013 and November 2016. Within those households at least 8,586 people were affected including 2,876 adults (33.5%) and 5,710 children (66.5%). The average loss for those hit by the cap (at November 2016) was estimated to be £70 a week, the equivalent of £3,640 a year.
The new analysis formed part of the Council’s submission to the Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry on the benefit cap.
The latest round of the Government’s benefit changes came into force in April, including a new two-child limit on child tax credit, from 6th April. This measure, as well as the scrapping of housing benefit for jobseekers aged 18-21, is set to hit families and young people disproportionately.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:
"Cutting support for those in the greatest need does nothing but entrench inequality and make life harder for people already struggling.
"In Tower Hamlets two-thirds of people hit by the benefit cap are children. It's clear the Government's benefit cap does little more than punish young people for being born into poverty.
"With the latest round of benefit cuts just taking effect there is no doubt things are going to get even harder for many families as a result of the Government’s relentless assault on benefits."