More than 220 families in West Lindsey affected by benefit caps

Benefit cuts EMN-190525-221935001
Benefit cuts EMN-190525-221935001

Benefit caps have hit hundreds of families in West Lindsey over the last six years, according to the latest figures.

The Department for Work and Pensions figures, released by the PA, show that 22 families had their housing benefits capped in West Lindsey between the introduction of the limits in April 2013 and February this year.

Single parents accounted for the majority of the capped claimants - 68% of cases.

Greg Beales, the campaign director for housing charity Shelter, said that benefit 
capping was pushing people towards homelessness.

He added: “When your benefits can’t cover both rent and food you end up having to choose between the two.

“Lone parent families tell us how they can’t afford to feed themselves and their children, let alone cover 
childcare and think about
 returning to work.

“The system is entirely 
self-defeating.”

Scrapping the cap, 
raising housing benefit rates and fixing structural issues that ‘push so many perilously close to the trauma of 
homelessness’ would 
overhaul the system into one fit for purpose, he argued.

Over the six-year period, nine households in West Lindsey were docked more than £100 a week.

In February 2019 - when the most recent data was
 available - 61 families still had their benefits capped across East Lindsey.

When the cap was lowered to its present level in 
November 2016, there were 91.

The chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group charity, Alison Garnham, said the statistics ‘expose the
 absurdity and incoherence’ of the benefit cap policy.

Alison said: “The losses these families sustain as a 
result of the cap are stark and do nothing to improve 
parents’ chances of moving 
into work when they are able to. Our social security system should be there for people when they need it most.”