Benefits capped at £26,000 in pioneering London boroughs

A CAP on welfare payments came into force in four London boroughs yesterday, ahead of a nationwide rollout later in the year.

As a result no household in Haringey, Enfield, Croydon or Bromley is now able to claim more than £500 a week in most working-age benefits. Single people will be limited to £350 a week.

Disability payments are excluded from the cap, which sets the maximum annual payment at £26,000 – equivalent to the average British household income after tax.

“We have a very clear message: we will provide support to those who need it, but the days of outrageous claims giving people incomes far above those of hard working families are over,” said work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

The policy will be implemented nationally from 15 July with all affected households capped by the end of September.

Working tax credit, which helps support low-paid workers, will not be affected by the changes.

The government last week claimed the number of families that will be hit by the cap has fallen from 56,000 to 40,000.

They say this is partly due to 8,000 claimants finding working through Jobcentre Plus after realising they would be caught by the cap.