Blackpool families hit by benefits cap

Dozens of families have had benefit caps imposed on them. Photo: PA/Yui Mok
Dozens of families have had benefit caps imposed on them. Photo: PA/Yui Mok
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Benefit caps have been imposed on dozens of families in Blackpool over the last year, new figures show.

The vast majority of families capped had children, with housing charity Shelter warning that across the country households are being “tipped into homelessness”.

The latest Department for Work and Pensions figures show that between September 2017 and August, 85 families had their housing benefits docked in Blackpool. The majority were single parents with children. Couples with children accounted for a further 42 per cent of cases.

Couples with children are limited to an annual income from all benefits of £20,000.

There are lower rates for single parents and households without children. Some people are exempt from the cap, including those who receive working tax credits, or claim carer’s or guardian’s allowances.

Over the last year, 12 households in Blackpool were docked more than £100 a week. Since benefit capping was introduced in April 2013, 618 households in Blackpool have been affected.

Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate, said: “The brutal benefit cap is continuing to wreak havoc on family life. Too many are battling to put food on the table and pay the rent, while others have been tipped into homelessness.

“Surely we should be helping these families up – not making their lives even harder.”

Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey, inset, said: “Our welfare reforms are supporting more and more people into work.

“The benefit cap ensures we have a fairer system – fair for the taxpayer and fair for claimants – as well as a system that incentivises work.”