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Government benefit cap comes into force in Brighton and Hove
Hundreds of households are set to be worse off as the benefit cap comes into force.
The Government’s scheme of limiting the amount that people can claim in support has come into force in Brighton and Hove today.
It means that couples and lone parents will now receive a maximum of £500 a week, while a £350 limit applies to single people.
Brighton and Hove City Council workers believe about 300 households – most of them families – will be affected with some losing more than £300 a week in housing support.
But advocates claim it is the only way to encourage people to get into work while controlling the overall benefit bill.
Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan- Smith said: “We will always be there to support those who need help but the days of blank cheque benefits are over.”
The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit working age people can receive being introduced by the government.
This is so no out of work family will receive more in welfare benefits than the average take-home pay of a family in work.
With the figure including how much people are given to help pay their rent and housing costs, in the city with some of the highest rent costs and house prices in the country, some fear it will lead to families being made homeless.
When the bill was passed, Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said: “It will hit the poorest in our society the hardest, including the many people in my constituency who are already struggling to make ends meet and coming to my surgeries in a state of desperation.”
But Hove MP Mike Weatherly said: “The argument has been won that benefits should not pay more than hard work, as was the case under Labour’s years of economic mismanagement which benefited nobody.
“We’ve addressed the unfairness and adjusted the system to the advantage of claimants and taxpayers alike.”
Those affected by the cap should already have received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions.
Anyone with a query can call them on 0845 6057064.
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