East Devon MP welcomes benefits cap

PUBLISHED: 13:31 05 March 2012 | UPDATED: 13:42 05 March 2012

East Devon MP Hugo Swire

East Devon MP Hugo Swire

Copyright: R Braine cyberphotographer.com

EAST Devon MP Hugo Swire has welcomed government plans to ensure that no family can get more in benefits than the average working family, in places like Sidmouth and Ottery, earns.

The Welfare Reform Bill means that a household on out of work benefits will be capped at £26,000 tax free per year.

On introduction the cap, which is linked to weekly average earnings, will be set at £500 per week for couple and single parent households – this is the same as £35,000 a year before tax, £26,000 after tax.

A single person’s average annual salary in East Devon is £18,537.21, according to the county council.

This translates into wages of £354 a week – and Mr Swire estimates that the benefit cap for single adult households will be £350 per week.

Labour MPs argue that a one-size-fits-all cap across the UK, where the cost of living can vary greatly, was unfair and effectively forces some benefit claimants to move from areas that they grew up in.

Mr Swire said: “This benefit cap shows that Conservatives are the party of fairness, standing up for hard working taxpayers.

“By voting against it, Labour has once again shown they are the party of something for nothing.”

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