To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of single earner families with net annual earnings of £26,000 who are also in receipt of (a) child benefit, (b) tax credits and (c) housing benefit; what account he has taken of the receipt of state benefits by single earner families with such annual earnings in the (i) formulation and (ii) communication of the Government's benefits cap policy; and if he will make a statement.
These estimates are not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Working households are outside of the scope of the benefit cap. Median earnings are used as the basis of the level of the benefit cap. In work benefits are not therefore included in an income calculation to set this level.
The benefit cap will ensure that no family on benefits will receive more than a working family's average salary. It is primarily intended to act as a work incentive. That is why all households which include a member who is entitled to working tax credit are exempt from the benefit cap, as announced in the 2010 spending review.