A big day for welfare reform as we pilot a cap on benefits equal to the average wage. Amazingly Labour oppose it.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) April 15, 2013
DWP statistics reveal that the benefit cap, set at £500 a week for families, was based on a bare-faced lie.
It has repeatedly been claimed that the cap – which was introduced in some parts of London earlier in the year and is now being rolled out across the UK – was to ensure that no-one on benefits receives more than an equivalent family on the average wage. This move echoed the Victorian principle of ‘less eligibility’, the idea used to justify the workhouse which insisted that the life of anybody out of work must be ‘less eligible’ – meaning more shit – than the life of the lowest paid labourer.
Yet just released DWP statistics on the average UK wage show that the benefit cap was set far below the average income for families.*
According to the DWP, the average income for a family with children is £670 a week. This is made up of £600 in earnings with an additional income of £70 which presumably comes from Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits.
The Benefit Cap has been set at not far from £200 a week less than the average wage that Cameron talks of in the above tweet. Which means David Cameron is a lying bastard.
Over 200,000 children now face homelessness due to this lie.
*In fact the cap is set below the amount a family with two working parents both on minimum wage would receive in most cases firmly establishing the principle of less eligibility. A family with two children in which one parent works 35 hours a week and another 24, both on minimum wage and paying £250 in rent a week, would receive a joint income of around £612 a week made up of wages and in work benefits.
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