On 2nd, 3rd & 4th April 2019 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received answers to three written questions on the benefit cap policy.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the sample size used to inform the design of the benefit cap policy
Baroness Buscombe: The rationale behind the benefit cap policy is set out in the Impact Assessment, which supported the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. The final update was published in August 2016 and is attached.
DWP and HMRC administrative data was used to inform the design of the benefit cap policy, and sample data was not used.
The Answer includes the following attached material:
Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 Impact Assessment
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many families are subject to the benefit cap.
Baroness Buscombe: Households can have their benefits capped either under Housing Benefit, or under Universal Credit, and the latest statistics were published in February 2019, covering households capped to November 2018.
Point-in-time caseload: Number of households capped by family type at November 2018, GB
|Total||Single, no child dependant||Single, with child dependant(s)||Couple, no child dependant||Couple, with child dependant(s)|
Data Sources: DWP 100% Single Housing Benefit Extract and DWP Universal Credit Official Statistics Database
- Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Numbers less than 10 have been replaced with ‘..’
- Figures include households that have had their Housing Benefit or Universal Credit full service capped. Universal Credit full service is available to all claimant types but only in certain areas of the country at November 2018.
- Figures for Universal Credit may be revised in future publications, as Universal Credit awards may be retrospectively revised.
The Housing Benefit caseload data is taken from DWP Stat-Xplore, whilst the Universal Credit caseload data is taken from the official statistics caseload tables, published on 7th Feb 2019.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the number of households subject to the benefit cap that have moved into work in comparison with the number of households that have moved into work that are not subject to that cap.
Baroness Buscombe: The Department published its evaluation of the original benefit cap levels “Benefit cap: Analysis of Outcomes of capped claimants” in December 2014. From the findings the Government estimated that capped households were 4.7 percentage points (41%) more likely to flow into work after a year compared to similar uncapped households.
Households working more than 16 hours a week and eligible for working tax credits or entitled to Universal Credit and earning at least £542 (£569 from April 2019) a month are exempt from the benefit cap.
Statistics published on 7 February 2019 show that in November 2018, out of a total of 196,840 capped Housing Benefit awards since May 2013, 55,360 were no longer capped because they had moved into work. In addition, out of a total of 19,660 Universal Credit awards capped since October 2016, 2,420 were no longer capped because they had earnings above the earnings threshold (currently £542). These figures will include some households that would have moved into work in the absence of the cap.