The House of Lords voted on 23 January 2012 against the government’​s proposals to place a cap on welfare benefits to £​26,000 per household from April 2013.

The Lords voted to exclude child benefit from the cap on household benefits. Those voting against the proposed cap included Lord Ashdown, but Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister confirmed the government’​s intention to seek to overturn the defeat when the Bill returns to the House of Commons.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) acknowledged the defeat was disappointing but reaffirmed its contention that the limit is set at a fair rate. An impact assessment published by the DWP prior to the Lords debate, showed 220,000 children would be affected by the proposed cap, and that savings made by the change would amount to £​120m per year.

Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, argued the intention of the cap on benefits is to encourage people to work and not to reduce the cost of welfare. The cap would however be applied to people on such benefits as employment and support allowance, where there is no requirement to work.

For further details see the BBC website


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