Latest Public Sector News

15.07.11

Minister ‘extremely worried’ about benefit cap

Children’s minister Sarah Teather has said she is “extremely worried” about the level of the proposed cap on housing benefit.

She told the Family and Parenting Institute’s (FPI) Family Policy Conference: “The theory behind having a cap is that we know a lot of families at the moment are effectively trapped by work not paying. So in a situation where if you can gain more in benefit than you can in work, it can be very difficult to make that decision to go back to work.

“But if you are asking me if I am worried about the level that the cap is set at, yes I am extremely worried.”

The Lib Dem minister added: “We need to get the detail right.”

The yearly ‘report card’ issued by the FPI at the conference rated that UK at only D-plus on its family friendly status.

FPI chief executive Dr Katherine Rake said: “We welcome the indications of a more supportive policy environment on the horizon for families and parents. But families are now waiting to see whether these positive gestures will counteract the significant financial pressures they are under.

“We need to ensure that all new policies help rather than hinder families and meet the Prime Minister’s aspiration for the UK to become the most family friendly society in Europe.”

The ‘report card’ is at www.familyandparenting.org/reportcard2011

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