Benefits capped across Northamptonshire

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Almost 100 people in Northampton have had their benefits capped since new legislation was brought in by the Government in April last year.

A total of 94 Northampton households have seen their benefits cut since rules were introduced to make sure people could not earn more in benefits than the average working family.

The Government’s Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said: “These figures show the benefit cap is returning fairness to the system by ensuring families on benefits can no longer get more money than the average family earns.

“It’s not right that some families on benefits were receiving amounts of money that hardworking taxpayers could only dream of and our welfare reforms are working to fix the system.”

Former Northampton North Labour MP, Sally Keeble, who will fight to win back the seat in 2015, said she supported the cap, but questioned how much it cost.

She said: “People want to be reassured that work pays and, from that point of view, I think having a cap can provide that reassurance.

“But it would be interesting to know how much the system costs to administer and if that is actually more than the savings that are made.”

Across the country, almost 33,000 households had their benefits capped. The total number for Northamptonshire was 168.

The cap limits households to a maximum of £500 a week for couples and single parents and £350 a week for single people. The cap does not apply to households who receive disability living allowance or war pensions.