The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the housing benefit cap. The note is designed to explain how the benefit cap will operate and considers reactions to proposals.
As part of the October 2010 Spending Review the Government announced an intention to cap total household benefits at £500 per week for a family and £350 per week for a single person with no children from April 2013.
The benefit cap is one of the welfare reform measures announced as part of the Government’s deficit reduction plans. It is expected to deliver savings of £110 million in 2013/14 and £185 million in each of the following four years.
The expected savings were revised downwards in Budget 2013 after estimates of the numbers of households affected were revised downwards in April 2013.
The first areas to see the introduction of cap introduced were the London boroughs of Croydon, Enfield, Haringey and Bromley on the 15th April this year.
National implementation will be managed over a 10 week period split into two tranches:
- Tranche 1 will include all local authorities with 275 affected households or fewer and capping will commence on 15th July 2013; and,
- Tranche 2 will include all local authorities with 276 or more households to be capped and is likely to commence from the week of 12th August 2013. There may be some flexibility around this date as the clearance of Tranche 1 will affect the precise start date of Tranche 2.