Benefit cap hitting more families in the East Riding, new figures reveal

The number of families in the East Riding who have been hit by a benefit cap has surged since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, new figures show.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 12:25 pm
Department for Work and Pensions figures show that 374 families had their benefits capped in the East Riding during February. Photo: PA Images

With a record number of families affected across Great Britain, the Government is facing calls to abolish the cap from charities who say the policy is an “unjust punishment” on poorer households.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show that 374 families had their benefits capped in the East Riding during February.

This was a rise of 81% on the number capped in the same period last year, when 207 had either their housing benefit or Universal Credit payment reduced. Of the households impacted this year, 226 (60%) had single parents.

Across Great Britain, 200,000 households had their benefits capped during February, more than twice the 77,700 impacted in the same period last year.

That included 166,200 households with children, and 117,200 with single parents.

According to Child Poverty Action Group, which wants the cap abolished, households impacted are losing out on an average £62 a week.

The charity said families were finding it hard to escape the cap due to a continued lack of jobs and unaffordable childcare.

Meanwhile, homeless charity Shelter said a Government failure to review the cap had plunged many families into poverty and put them at risk of homelessness.

The DWP said a review of the benefit cap will be carried out at “the appropriate time”.

A spokesperson said: “The benefit cap ensures fairness for hard-working taxpaying households and a strong work incentive, while also providing a much-needed safety net of support.”