Benefit spending grew to £8.7bn in Wales last year
The UK Government’s Department of Work and Pensions has said it will write to those affected by a new cap which will limit the amount of benefits a person can have.
From April 2013, the benefit cap will stop people from claiming more in benefits than the average households earns – £500 a week for couples and those with children and £350 a week for single people without children. The DWP has said the cap of £26,000 will be the equivalent to average earnings of £35,000 before tax.
Benefit spending grew to £8.7bn last year in Wales with housing benefit costing £956m.
Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, said: “People in Wales will be shocked by the scale of the benefit bill and the fact that thousands of people claim enough in benefits to put them in the higher rate of tax is astonishing.
“The benefit cap will return fairness to the welfare state and ensure people know there is a clear limit on what they can claim.
“People who do the right thing and move into work will not be affected, and we have ensured disabled people will continue to receive the right support.”
The DWP is now writing to benefit claimants who may be affected by the benefit cap to provide support to help them into work and to explain how much their claims may be reduced by.
Practical help for people to get into work will come from Jobcentre Plus, the Work Programme and Work Choice.
People claiming working tax credits are exempt from the benefit cap
The benefit cap will also not apply to people who claim Disability Living Allowance, as well as some other benefits, in recognition of the extra costs disabled people face, as well as people who receive a War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension.Follow @CaerphillyObsvr