Single mothers make up 85% of those hit by government benefit cap, Labour reveals

Posted On: 
4th January 2019

The Government’s benefit cap is overwhelmingly affecting single mothers, according to new analysis from Labour.

Labour said the Government had shown "scant regard" for low-income families.

Official figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that single mums make up 85% of all households whose incomes have been limited by the policy.

The cap was brought in under the coalition government in a bid to slash Britain's welfare bill and encourage people to return to work.

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After being lowered from £26,000 in 2016, the cap now limits the amount of state benefits an individual household can access in a year to £23,000 in London and £20,000 in the rest of the country.

Government figures revealed by Labour show that 134,044 households have so far had their support limited by the DWP under the policy - with single mothers most heavily affected.

According to the analysis, that includes 114,337 single females with a dependent child who have seen their benefit payments capped.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Margaret Greenwood warned that the policy was pushing single mums into financial hardship.

She told the Guardian: "The Conservatives have pushed ahead with their austerity agenda with scant regard for the impact on low-income families.

"Labour will build a social security system that is there for any of us in our time of need."

The DWP did not respond to a request for comment.