Benefits cap of £500 a week introduced across the country

IAIN Duncan Smith yesterday insisted the coalition’s benefit cap is already pushing people off state support, as the government began rolling out the policy across the country.

The work and pensions secretary insisted that “we are already seeing people going back to work who were not going back to work” as a result of the cap.

The policy means no family will receive more than £500 a week in benefits, equivalent to an annual post-tax income of £26,000.

Single people will be limited to £350 a week under the cap, which covers child benefit, housing benefit, jobseeker’s allowance and incapacity benefit.

Disability payments are exempt from the cap, which is expected to affect around 40,000 households a year and save the government £300m over the next two years.

Half the households affected are expected to be single parent families.