Benefits cap 'an incentive to work'

Updated: 

Iain Duncan SmithThe number of households expected to be hit by the new £500 a week benefits cap has fallen by a quarter, according to the Government.

Initial estimates had suggested 56,000 would be affected by the controversial limit, losing an average of around £90 per week.

However, the forecast has now been cut to 40,000. Officials suggested 8,000 people have found jobs while others have moved to cheaper properties.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: "The benefit cap sets a clear limit for how much support the welfare state will provide - the average wage for working households.

"But it's also a strong incentive for people to move into work and even before the cap comes in we are seeing thousands of people seeking help and moving off benefits.

"We have a very clear message: we will provide support to those who need it, but the days of outrageous claims giving people incomes far above those of working families are over."

The benefit cap is due to be introduced in four London boroughs - Croydon, Bromley, Haringey and Enfield - from April 15.

National implementation will begin in July, with the policy fully in force by the end of September.

The cap was originally expected to save £275 million a year from the welfare bill.

© 2013 Press Association

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