Bolton households 'will feel the effect of benefits cap'
THE livelihoods of 200 households in Bolton are to be affected by the benefits cap that has now been implemented nationwide.
A sum of £500 a week is now the most couples and single parents can claim, with a £350 limit for single adults.
Secretary of state for work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, said: “It’s not acceptable for people to expect to live a life on benefits if they’re able to work.
“Benefits should be a safety net, but not something that gives claimants an income out of reach of many hard-working families.”
40,000 people across the country are predicted to suffer as a result of the cap.
The only people exempt are those entitled to a working tax credit, households where somebody receives a disability benefit, and war widows.
Bolton West Labour MP Julie Hilling suggested the best way of cutting benefits is creating paid jobs, blasting the idea of the unemployed doing compulsory salary-free work in order to earn their reduced benefits.
She said: “Forcing people into work actually reduces jobs. If bosses can have people working for free then why should they hire anyone who they have to pay?”
And Ms Hilling is worried increasing travel fares merely tighten the purse strings of those being forced to do unpaid work.
The scheme’s critics suggest that people currently out of work may have to relocate to areas with lower house prices.
Conservative councillor Andy Morgan believes the cap will affect Bolton far less than most inner city areas with higher living costs.
Cllr Morgan said of the ‘workfare’ programme: “It’s important that there’s something at the end of it for the workers. I would suggest a job or a job offer.”
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