A cap on welfare spending that is due to limit benefit claims for the next four years will hit disabled people and the low paid without tackling the underlying causes of Britain's growing social security bill, according to critics of the Treasury plan.{jcomments on}

In a central plank of plans to cut the deficit, the government is capping the annual bill for tax credits and housing benefit to £119.5bn this year – despite forecasts that millions of people face rocketing rent charges and low wage rises.

The cap, which does not apply to spending on pensions or out of work benefits, is to be extended to 2018-19 by a charter that will go before parliament next week. The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, said that Labour would vote in favour.

Faiza Shaheen, a senior researcher at the New Economics Foundation thinktank, said the cap appeared driven by ideology rather than any bid to tackle the underlying causes of welfare dependency.

Read the full article in the Guardian


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