Benefit Cap

GJ small (3)

Date: Mon 30th January 2012

In the past few weeks there has been a lot of discussion around the Government’s proposed benefit cap.  The proposal is that we limit the amount of benefit that people can receive to £26 000 per household with a lone parent or couple. This equates to around £500 per week. In short it still remains a very generous amount that ensures that all those in need will be looked after but protects taxpayers from limitless amounts of benefits being handed out. I fully support the Government on this issue and agree that it is vital that we implement a cap on the amount people can receive in benefit.  If our welfare system is to be fair, to both those in need of help and to taxpayers then we need to ensure that it pays to work. Often people complain to me that they cannot afford to go out to work because of the benefits they would lose. This situation needs to end.

The Government has set the cap at £26,000 which is the equivalent take home pay of someone earning £35,000 per year before tax.  Many hard working households across Dartford have to live on such an income.  It is quite wrong for hardworking families in Dartford to have to pick up the bill for people living on benefits in affluent areas of London.
I believe that it is unfair for households to receive a greater income from out of work benefits than the average weekly wage for working households.  The Government has ensured that the vulnerable are exempt from the cap including those with disabilities and war widows.  Those in work who are doing the right thing, such as people in receipt of Working Tax Credits, will also be excluded from the cap.
In this country we believe that if we find ourselves out of work or unable to work, the state will provide for us. That must be right but we should not offer limitless benefits.  I disagree with the Labour Party who do not want this cap as I feel that the welfare state is about providing a safety net and not a way of life for claimants. I believe that the benefits cap will go some way to ensuring that fairness prevails and that it always pays to work.
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