Half of those affected are single parents of under-fives
More than half of households that will be hit by the government’s benefit cap are home to single parents with children under five, according to new analysis, leaving them at risk of homelessness and poverty.
The new cap, which will be rolled out from Monday, sets a limit on the amount of benefits most working-age adults can claim. But Gingerbread warns that this will disproportionately affect single parents of young children, who often find it difficult to move into work and are facing an average shortfall of £60 a week in rent.
‘The new benefit cap is likely to drive more single parents into poverty,’ Gingerbread policy officer Laura Dewar said. ‘Many will have to choose between the roof over their children’s heads and other essentials such as food and heating.’
“Parents tell us they are doing all they can to find work, but all too often jobs and available childcare just don’t match up – single parents with toddlers can’t simply work a night shift or at weekends.
“Those set to be hit by the cap are calling Gingerbread panic-stricken, desperate to find a way to protect their children. For all the government’s talk about work incentives, it has nothing to say on the families who can’t find work and the devastating impact it will have on children who face losing their homes or being pushed in poverty.”
Despite the risk of single parent families suffering as a result of the cap, the government has not put any plan for ongoing support in place.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.