UK Family Law Reform
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 12:59 PM
Subject: Email sent on behalf of Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP
Dear Mr Mortimer,
Thank you for your email
of 30 June. The £500 per week benefit cap applies irrespective
of the number of children in the family. That does mean, as you suggest,
that larger families are likely to see a larger cut in their income.
The 1% cap on benefit will certainly have a growing impact the longer
it lasts. While they are hitting hard working families, the Government
gave a £3 billion tax cut to the very richest people in the country
Thank you for contacting
me on these matters.
STEPHEN TIMMS MP
Shadow Employment Minister
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2014 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: Policy considerations.
Dear Mark Lancaster,
Please will you kindly tell me if these policies are legal or in violation
of international laws on ensuring people are kept out of poverty?
Best regards Dave
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2014 1:57 PM
Subject: RE: Policy considerations.
Thank you for your email. I understand that you have some concerns regarding
the £500 benefit cap and how it will alter for larger families
and I will do my best to answer your questions.
The £500 household
benefit cap applies irrespective of the number of children in the family.
However, the DWP’s Impact Assessment (July 2012) on the measure
acknowledged the potential impact on larger families. The policy affects
families that are both out of work and are either:
-Larger than average, in the most part with three or more children,
and thereby receiving larger than average Child Tax Credit payments
and Child Benefit payments; or
-Situated in high-rent areas and thereby receiving large Housing Benefit
-Both of these factors combined
Social security legislation requires the Secretary of State to review
benefit levels each year to determine whether they have retained their
value relative to prices. For most benefits annual uprating is not mandatory,
but historically governments have exercised their discretion by increasing
the principal means-tested working-age benefits each April in line with
prices. Since 2011 the measure used has been the Consumer Price Index
In his 2012 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that increases
in most working-age benefits would be limited to 1% a year for three
years from 2013-14, as part of a package to deliver additional welfare
savings of £3.7 billion a year by 2015-16. Increases in the basic
rates of benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment
and Support Allowance (ESA), and benefits including Statutory Sick Pay
and Statutory Maternity Pay, will be limited to 1% a year, but disability
and carer premiums payable with means-tested benefits, and the ESA Support
Component, will rise by the full CPI (2.2% from next April).
Uprating by 1% will also extend to the couple, lone parent and child
elements of tax credits and, for 2014-15 and 2015-16, to Child Benefit
and the basic and 30 hour elements of Working Tax Credit (these are
already frozen for 2013-14). Universal Credit (UC) earnings disregards
and certain UC elements are also to be limited to a 1% increase in 2014-15
and 2015-16, as will Housing Benefit rates (subject to certain exceptions).
Mark Lancaster TD MP
Milton Keynes North
HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A 0AA
Sent: 30 June 2014 19:10
Subject: Policy considerations.
Dear Mark Lancaster
Please will you kindly tell me if the £500 benefit cap takes into
consideration the number of children in each household & if not
will it adversely effect children in larger families.
I'm also concerned that the 1% cap on benefits will make more of the
60% of people who work & claim benefits hungry & homeless all
the time inflation remains above 1%.