Social Security Benefits

Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 23 May 2011.

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Photo of Karen Buck Karen Buck Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the number of households who would be subject to the overall benefit cap if (a) child benefit, (b) child tax credit and (c) housing benefit were not included in the calculation of this cap.

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We estimate that 50,000 households will be affected by the benefit cap if it is introduced as announced in the spending review. We are looking at ways of easing the transition for families and providing assistance in hard cases.

Analysis of the benefit cap is based on a very small sample using survey data, therefore any assessment of options to exempt certain categories of income or groups from the benefit cap is subject to significant uncertainty. Estimates suggest that excluding child benefit from the calculation of the benefit cap may reduce the number of households affected by around 40% to 50% excluding child tax credit or housing benefit may reduce the number of households affected by around 80% to 90%.

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