Monday, 30 November 2015

Cable defends ‘immoral’ benefit cap

Vince Cable has defended the coalition government’s £26,000-a-year benefits cap following criticism from a high profile Liberal Democrat colleague.

The business secretary said the measure, which comes into effect in April, is needed.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday, Mr Cable said the measure was necessary to stop housing benefit ‘escalating out of control’, but said there also needed to be an increase in affordable housing.

The total benefits cap will affect around 56,000 households, which will lose £93 per week on average, according to a Department for Work and Pensions estimate. The measure will save £275 million, the government has claimed.

Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather, former children’s minister, yesterday criticised the benefit cap policy in an interview with the Observer newspaper. She accused the government of attempting to court popularity by unfairly demonising the poor. She said: ‘I think deliberately to stoke up envy and division between people in order to gain popularity at the expense of children’s lives is immoral.’

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