Social Security Benefits: London

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the number of families who will move home in (a) Bethnal Green and Bow constituency, (b) Tower Hamlets and (c) London following the introduction of the benefit cap on 1 April 2013.

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

The information is not available.

The benefit cap will mean that people on benefit will face choices about housing costs similar to those faced by people in work. But it will not necessarily mean that they will need to move from their home. Even within the limits of this cap, households will still be able to receive significant amounts of financial assistance from state welfare payments and if a member of the household moves into work and becomes eligible for working tax credit they will be exempt from the impacts of the cap.

We know which people are likely to be affected by the cap and following the passing of the Welfare Reform Act we have a year to work with them before the cap is introduced. Jobcentre Plus will contact every potential benefit cap claimant to ensure that they are offered the opportunity to discuss employment support and to ensure they are getting the help they need, including, if appropriate, early access to the Work programme.

If further help is needed, local authorities will be able to consider making discretionary housing payments. Additional resources will be made available for this in the right areas to provide short-term, temporary relief to families who may face a variety of challenges. We will provide up to £75 million for this purpose in 2013-14 and a further £45 million in 2014-15.

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