Press Release: Time to Scrap the Cap

Anti-poverty charity, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K), today welcomed the Work & Pensions Select Committee’s damning criticism of the Government’s Benefit Cap on Social Security.

Time to Scrap the Cap

Anti-poverty charity, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K), today welcomed the Work & Pensions Select Committee’s damning criticism of the Government’s Benefit Cap on Social Security.

The committee’s report, which is published this morning raises serious concerns that nearly two-thirds of those hit by the cap are disabled people or lone parents with young children are not actually required to be actively seeking employment.  It also questions the basis of the cap and casts doubt on the statistics used to justify its imposition on even more claimants in 2016 and the Government’s failure to commission research into its wider impact on those hit by it.

Zacchaeus 2000’s Chief Executive, Raji Hunjan, welcomed the report, saying

“For the past six year, Zacchaeus 2000 has been helping hundreds of low-income Londoners hit by the cap.  The people we work with have been forced to choose between paying the rent and putting food on their children’s table.  As the committee argues, this entirely arbitrary cap is based upon a false premise peddled by parts of the media and some politicians that families out of work were better off than those in work.  We urge the Government to get their head out of the sand and urgently implement the committee’s recommendations in full.”

Director of Policy & Campaigns, Marc Francis, who gave evidence to the committee before Christmas, praised its call for homeless families to be exempted as well.

“Ministers have argued that families hit by the cap should move somewhere cheaper.  We don’t buy that argument – its simply a fig leaf for social cleansing.  But even on its own terms it is outrageous to cap homeless families who have no choice at all about where they are placed in temporary accommodation by their local council.  Applying the cap to these families has simply driven them further below the poverty line.”

Raji Hunjan concluded:

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to have put our evidence of the Benefit Cap’s pernicious impact to the committee, and especially that it has listened and made such strong recommendations.  We hope the whole advice sector, children’s charities, disability charities and local authorities will now come together behind the committee’s recommendations and put real pressure on ministers to urgently scrap the cap for those who are not required to be actively seeking work, because they are either disabled, seriously unwell or have very young children.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The Work & Pensions Select Committee’s report is available at:

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/1477/report-overview.html

  1. Zacchaeus 2000 Trust’s written evidence to the committee inquiry is at:

https://www.z2k.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/WPSC-Benefit-Cap-Oct-2018.docx

  1. Zacchaeus 2000 Trust gave evidence to the committee at:

https://www.z2k.org/latest/z2k-gives-evidence-to-work-pensions-select-committee/

For more information please contact Marc Francis on: 07 973 815 272; marcfrancis@z2k.org or Ella Abraham on: 020 7259 0801 Ext 210; ellaabraham@z2k.org

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