Welfare Reform Bill — Report (5th Day)
Lord Freud (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Welfare Reform), Work and Pensions; Conservative)
My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord McKenzie, closed his remarks on Amendment 58D by saying that it is designed to prevent a slide into poverty, particularly for those who are young. The benefit cap is about changing psychology. It is about trying to get a change of circumstances in those families. Let me remind noble Lords-I know that they do not need any reminder-that the worst thing for youngsters is to be in a workless household. We need to change behaviours, and this benefit cap is designed to do that.
We need to move towards the cap in a highly organised way, and we will have a year to work with those families that are going to be affected. As my noble friend Lord Fowler pointed out, this affects around 1 per cent of the population that we deal with and we know exactly who they are. In the new impact assessments, we were working on the particular families. We can spend a year with those families making sure that they respond in advance to what the cap implies for them. It is a very simple answer for the bulk of them: we need to get you into work.