Canary Workers’ Co-op Canary Workers’ Co-op

DWP has cut over £13k from some people’s benefits since 2013

A ripped brown envelope and the DWP logo

THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED AT 7:45AM ON WEDNESDAY 21 SEPTEMBER TO REFLECT A COMMENT FROM THE DWP

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been urged to review the controversial benefit cap. The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has warned that if it doesn’t, it will be disastrous for tens of thousands of families. The charity has also said that the cap has meant that social security claimants have lost out on over £13,000 a year already.

The DWP put the benefit cap in place in 2013. It restricts how much money it gives social security claimants. The cap is currently:

£20,000 per year (or £13,400 for single adults with no children) nationally.

£23,000 per year (£15,410 for single adults with no children) in Greater London.

In April 2022, the CPAG said the DWP’s cap had caused a real-terms cut of £2,070 a year to families’ social security. The DWP has never increased the cap since it introduced it in 2013. In fact, in 2016 it cut it. But now, the CPAG has crunched the numbers again – and the figures are even more shocking.

£13,000 a year cut by the DWP

The benefit cap hits around 120,000 households, including 300,000 children. Come April 2023, the CPAG says it will affect another 35,000 families. But it has also worked out that 94% of households hit by the cap wouldn’t be if the DWP had increased its levels. Moreover, it affects the poorest people. As the CPAG said:

Read on...

Capped households are some of the poorest families across the country. An average capped couple with two children is £150 a week below the poverty line.

However, the CPAG says that if the DWP removed the cap, households would be £65 a week better off, on average. It estimates that it would cost the government £500m to do this. It is urgent that the DWP removes the benefit cap, because the CPAG has said that the situation for the families it hits has become even worse.

The charity estimates that because the DWP has never increased the cap, by 2023/24, households outside of London will have seen a real-terms cut of £260 a week – that’s over £13,000 a year. While not all families might actually lose this much, it shows the scale of the cruelty.

The DWP says…

The Canary asked the DWP for comment. We specifically wanted to know if it was reviewing the benefit cap in November. This is when it will review all social security rates, ready for April 2023’s increase. As we previously reported, the DWP can review the level of the benefit cap whenever it wants. However, so far it’s failed to do this since 2016. A spokesperson told The Canary:

The benefit cap provides a strong work incentive and ensures fairness for hard-working taxpaying households by encouraging people to move into work where possible. Up to the equivalent salary of £24,000, it balances fairness for taxpayers with providing a vital safety net.

We recognise people are struggling with the rising cost of living which is why we are protecting millions of the most vulnerable people with at least £1,200 of direct payments, starting with the £326 cost of living payment which has already been issued to more than seven million low income households. It is also why we are also supporting six million disabled people with an extra £150 payment, beginning to land in bank accounts from today.

“Catastrophic”

CPAG chief executive Alison Garnham was scathing of the cap. She said in a press release:

The benefit cap is cruel and irrational at the best of times – many parents subject to it can’t escape it by working more because they are caring for very young children and housing costs are completely out of their control. But in the current crisis its effects will be truly catastrophic for hundreds of thousands of children, pushing many into deep poverty… there can be no doubt that leaving it in place will damage the lives of children up and down the country. It must be abolished before it harms more children.

It seems unthinkable that £13,000-a-year worth of real-terms cuts later, the DWP would not review the benefit cap this year. However, given its track record, there seems to be no reason why it would bother.

Featured image via The Canary and Wikimedia

We’re a thorn in the side of the establishment, but we can’t do it without your help

Your fight is our fight. But as many of you will know, speaking truth to power has never been easy, especially for a small, independent media outlet such as the Canary. We have weathered many attempts to silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media. Now more than ever, we need your support.

We don’t have fancy offices, and our entire staff works remotely. Almost all of our income is spent on paying the people who make the Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our team and enables us to continue to do what we do: disrupt power, and amplify people.

But we can’t do this without you. So please, if you appreciate our work, can you help us continue the fight?

Canary Workers’ Co-op Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. “The benefit cap provides a strong work incentive” can be understood as meaning that it provides employers with a means to keep their wages bill down, because workers are desperate. We live under a hard-Right, neoliberal regime that is determined to stamp out even the slightest possibility of the working class having a say in our own lives. We must work, work, work until we drop and the creation of the country’s wealth is all due to not we workers but the ‘innovators’. Sadly, the Left is so weak and demoralised that it fails over and over again to offer an inspiring vision, so the working class largely votes Tory or Labour, not socialist.

    2. My email just sent Govt leaders plus public website and news programs on T.V.

      Good day
      Govt party
      Now you all have rested wishing our Queen a good buy
      How about getting back to work fully in U.K. and sort out voter problems that need urgent attention now

      This policy here is another Tory lie plus broken promises by them to voter
      so what are the other Govt parties going to do about this mess on this matter of OLD legacy benefits uses ONLY

      This benefit is a Tory Scam put together by I.D. Smiths rich party members

      This is the new leader/P/M/ I wish to ask HOW many will die off or kill themselves because of this policy put in place by D.W.P.
      Remember going back Tory leaders said them on Benefits the OLD legacy benefits for many years will not be changed to Tory Scam -U0-Credit payment at all –So Ms Truss is your new Govt Ministers plus Tory M.P. already lying to us voter again on this matter ??
      VOTERS plus claimants that voter also would like to know before next G.E. Ms Truss please.

      ////////////
      Posted already on public websites

      https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/
      LINK to post 21.9.2022
      Firstly, voter remember who is responsible for the new laws pulls changes to benefits serves Ms Coffey that (trashed the D.W.P. payment system)
      Now she is set to trash the N.H.S. systems under Ms Truss rules look like she will be instructed by Truss to trash N.H.S has well now voters.
      /
      You may take my below advice or not claimants it’s just advice only .Of what to look out for at your interviews voters plus claimants.
      ////
      DWP Universal Credit changes: The five groups set for cut to benefits.
      Child Tax Credit
      Housing Benefit
      Income Support
      Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
      Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
      Working Tax Credit
      Do remember voters plus claimants all above are means tested benefit In one way or another U-Credit Tory Scam is NOT so protection is lost if they decide to changes the rules again behind closed door and not inform the public or claimants months in advance and it leads to stanchions on the claimants and D.W.P. then clewing back more cash of benefit uses that need the cash help (and we must not forget the loss of life that will increase has a result of Tory party members BAD voting way on Benefit claimant over many years calling them scroungers and the like (that are not)
      ////
      Now let’s get back to this article that proves only the poor-disabled- old-low working families will be hit the hardest to allow Tory Govt to claw back cash off ,take note in this article rich are not affected voter as they should not be claiming anywhere benefit help.
      Concluding
      When asked claimants if you wish to change benefits do remembers your income now is safer payments than restarting new Tory Scam U-Credit payment if you have been on legacy payment for over 10 years the Tory Scam U-Credit will not help improve you cash amount as delays in payment will put you ALL into a poverty trap you cannot escape form.
      So when called up by Govt to visit a jobcentre to sort out this mess DO remembers you have a choice (your rights) of Tory Scam U-Credit or staying on old benefits the staff will, Be instructed to give you advice to change that’s their job your rights as they stand now you can refuse the U-Credit payment way if you been on long term legacy benefits this should not affect you payments if it dose D.W.P. are breaking the Tory Govt set laws in place by them remember that voters that claim benefits.
      Speak your mind & get written proof of Jobcentre staff interviewing you if your better off changing or not when interviewed by D.W.P. staff in Jobcentres they have by law to produce a fact information letter explaining the new payment and the benefits of them or not to you personally has ever one has deferent needs on legacy benefits.
      Footnote
      Also make sure the jobcentre staff members doesn’t PUT ANY information on the computer before you make a personal diction to change over to Scam-U-Credit.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.