After the last few days of parlaying in the House of Lords, it has emerged that, after reversing some early defeats, a majority of 82 voted in favour of drastic Welfare Reform and a £26,000 benefits cap per UK household come 2013.
With an estimated £600m being saved for the taxpayer, the cost-cutting measures being introduced look set to shake things up for those who have come to rely most on benefits, particularly, as the article above explains, those in high-cost housing;
“The Department of Work and Pensions says 67,000 households will have their benefits reduced in 2013-14, losing £83 a week on average, while 75,000 will see a reduction in 2014-15″
(Large families will also be effected because “it is also argued that the £26,000 cap takes no account of how many children there are in a family”).
There are also whispers of a ‘couple penalty’ being created, because of how beneficial it will be financially to live seperately from a spouse or partner. There are also predictions of families living in smaller houses in increasingly surburbanised areas in order to decrease outgoings and survive on lower publically-funded financial support.
With such a relatively quick turn-around, there are great opportunities for public-driven data journalism to show the effects of the benefit cap, and this is something we’re, inevitably, very excited about.