Over 3000 individuals who were hit by the governmentís welfare cap last year have now entered into employment, according to official data from the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).
In the organisations first evaluation of the effects of their policy on UK households since the £26,000 maximum welfare threshold was implemented last year, the DWP emphatically found that over 8000 had now stop receiving benefits altogether, whilst 40% of those who came out the cap are now in some form of work.
The other 60% was attributed by the DWP to a change in a personís situation, such as retiring from employment altogether or leaving the benefits system completely.
“It is encouraging to see that people who have been subject to the cap are moving into work, so soon after national implementation was complete,” said Lord Freud, the Minister for Welfare Reform.
Labour have failed to make a comment about the findings, though it is thought that should they win the 2015 General Election that they will retain the basic structures of the new welfare cap, but with slight modifications between different regions in Britain.
Change in attitudes
The coalition administration implemented a cap of the level of benefits a single household can receive last April, setting the threshold at £26,000 a year.
The initial reaction to the cap was a huge backlash from working class families, who argued that they relied on the resources in order to sustain their households during the post recession era.
It has been estimated that a total of 36,471 people were affected by the cap, an intriguingly, the DWP identified over 17,000 of these people were from the capital.
And the positive effects of the cap are now being seen, as it was revealed by todayís statistics that just under 10% of Londonís benefit recipients have found work since the implementation of the cap, whilst 40% of all capped households have at least one member who now has a job.
The coalition previously identified that they believe the change in system will save the Treasury over £220 million by
April next year, and hope that it will finally bring back balance and fairness to the welfare system in the UK.
The government said it was still expecting to save £225m as a result of the cap by April 2015.
Conservative peer Lord Freud praised the impact the cap has had in such a short space of time, and believes that it was a necessary measure in order to change peopleís attitudes towards their lives.
“Our reforms are creating an alternative to life on benefits and already we are seeing an increasing number of people changing their circumstances so they are no longer subject to the cap,” said Lord Freud.
Nevertheless, many workers have called for the government to review the cap system, arguing that the current £500 a week threshold for couples and single parents is not enough to help people recover their financial situations.
But the change in attitudes of Britainís unemployed is undoubted a positive sign, and will be presented the current administration as an ideological success in bringing about a much needed overhaul of the countryís benefit system.