Government to further reduce the benefit cap

  • The Conservative Party has revealed that if it wins the general election in May, it plans to lower the benefit cap by £3,000.

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    In 2012, the coalition government introduced the current £26,000-a-year cap on benefits that households are entitled to. However, Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to reduce the cap to £23,000 if the party is successful, 24dash reports.

    According to Cameron, the £135 million in savings the government would make every year by lowering the cap would be used to create a million new apprenticeships.

    Though, the apprenticeship scheme is expected to cost around £300m. Therefore the government have decided they would need to obtain the extra funds by removing housing benefits for 18-21 year olds.

    Cameron told the Daily Telegraph: "The benefit cap has been a success. It's got a lot of people back to work. People said it would have all sorts of bad consequences - it hasn't. It's actually caused a stampede to the job centre. In the remaining 100 days before the election, we've got to get across to people how these long-term reforms are beginning to show positive effects.

    "Whether it's reforming pensions, welfare, education, dealing with the deficit, funding universities, building infrastructure - these are all things that are going to make our country stronger. We've got to go all out now to explain, stress, that this is based on a vision about a stronger, more secure country".

    Chief Executive of homelessness charity Crisis stated, "For young people escaping abuse; for those whose family relationships have broken down, housing benefit can be all that stands between them and homelessness. We know half of all homeless people first become homeless aged under 21. Without the safety net of benefits, many more will end up on the streets. A tragic waste of young lives.

    "This election must not become a race to the bottom, where the main parties strive to outdo each other by being ‘tough on benefits'. We welcome positive proposals to offer better training support and apprenticeships, but we must make sure that housing support remains available for those who have no choice but to fend for themselves". 

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