Protect children from benefits cuts, MPs are urged

Almost 20,000 children in the South East will be affected by the benefit cap, with over 50,000 pushed into poverty, according to The Children’s Society.

The figures, from the government’s impact assessment, show that 220,000 children – three times more than adults - will be affected by the cap nationwide.

Figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government reveal that more than 80,000 children could be made homeless as a result of the policy.

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The Bishop of Truro is urging local MPs to protect children from the government’s plan to cap benefits at £500 a week in the South East. Families will lose on average £93 per week, with some households losing up to £150 a week.

The Rt Revd Tim Thornton said: “I see the impact of government policy every day as it affects congregations and communities.

“The Lords have stood up to the government and made sure child benefit is excluded when calculating the benefit cap. It is vital that MPs do the same when the bill returns to the House of Commons. If they don’t, I fear greater hardship is in store for thousands of children.”

Child benefit is a non-means tested benefit paid to both non-working and working families, to support the costs of raising their children. Excluding child benefit from the benefit cap will help some of the poorest families in the country.

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Enver Solomon of The Children’s Society, said: “If the intention of the benefit cap is to promote fairness, it is a grave injustice that a small family with a household income of £80,000 a year receive it, yet a large family with a benefit income of £26,000 are excluded.

“It’s not fair to punish children for the work circumstances of their parents. The effects on their lives could be devastating, blighting their futures.”

MPs will debate the benefit cap in the House of Commons of Wednesday.