Universal Credit: The £26,000 Question?

The House of Lords  have voted  against the  controversial cap on welfare benefits due to be implemented in 2013 with the introduction of the new Universal Credit welfare system.  Many church leaders and welfare groups opposed the £500 per week limit on the grounds that many children and vulnerable adults  would be the most seriously affected.

What are your views? Should welfare payments be capped at £26000 per year or should there be compromises for those facing potential  homelessness and poverty?

Please vote below and tell us about your reason for your decision on the benefits cap.


  1. Robin says:

    £26,000 per annum equates to an annual gross salary of nearly £35,000. There are a lot of working families with children who live on considerably less than this. Benefits should be a temporary measure for emergencies, rather than a means to live without working ( and believe me there are many many people who do this !). Rather than a cap on the amount payable it should be capped at a certain period of time with a viable alternative available to the claimant at the end of that period. Of course there will always be those that for one reason or another are genuinely unable to work but even they should not be able to have endless children, knowing that no matter how many they have the state will always provide for them.

  2. louise says:

    This is all fine having a £26,000 cap but, what happens if a 2 parent family with 4 kids, who are all born in London, worked for all their lives and then get made redundant?. Does that mean that if the can not find another job within a month they will be homeless or have to leave the area they have lived all their lives just because their rent is £400 per week?.

    This does not take into consideration either how many children a person has. They should keep the current protection for the children who are already born until they are 18 and any new children born from now should have the cap in place so families know what they could face if they lose their jobs.

    If a 2 parent family needs to claim at least 1 should be made to do voluntary work, or a single parent whose child is of school age.

    With these changes London will be an elite city and out of bounds for the like of the average family who may not be capable of earning substantial wages. I cant wait to see these current elite who have sustained their 4 kids so far lose their £100,000 wages and be packed off to Hastings living on £500 a week!

  3. netty says:

    It is simply ridiculous to think this could work and I am glad it has been defeated. In areas of high rents, a claimants £500 limit would be eaten up in a hearbeat with rent and council tax. There would be nothing left to provide food and heating. People will die. I am sick to death of the arguments that £26,000 a year is more than most people have to live on who work. It is always forgotten that many claimants these days have been put in the position through the recessession. They may have paid into the system for many years and when they need help are treated like bums. If losing your job is not bad enough and the resulting poverty, to suggest that a claimant should uproot their lives and family to live in a cheaper rental area is cruel. But of course, the government and hardliners are not interested in the quality of life of these indivuals who’s heart and soul may be bound up in their homes, their family and friend connections, their sense of community, their childrens schools etc. I fear for a two tier system of the affluent living cosilty with the poor being consigned to ghettos. It is recognised that a community rich in all walks of life is more beneficial, and let’s face it people from poorer backgrounds do not make the rules on the cost of rent, but can be determined by supply and demand and the rich people’s desire to live in certain areas which push prices up. The poor rarely have a say in it.

  4. I have High Functioning Autism and certain areas it affects me is my inability to keep to work commitments more than 16 hrs, otherwise I will go into ‘meltdown’ very quickly. This still happens but 2 / 3 times a year whereby I ‘HAVE TOO’ take time off. Under the current system I earn 16 x £6.08 = £97.28 + Tax Credits which allows me to have a gross income of £200 per week. (the other elements is
    DLA High Care & Low Mobility – which I utilize for out of pocket expenses which I would otherwise I would NOT require if I was NOT autistic, such as: Rent top up (to enable me to live in a VERY safe area), support workers weekly expenses (not covered in ‘any’ care packages), percentage of fuel I use due to the rural location / avoid stressful public transport and its infrequency etc

    Under the new system will I only get the 16 hours wage which would mean more than a 50% earning cut which would lead to severe financial circumstances.

    I am within a small percentage of autistic people who do work, but a VERY large percentage either would need 1-1 to sustain employment, employers to be TOTALLY flexible and not the current situation whereby the employee has to be flexible. The work achieved would be at the rate of the persons current stress element (more stress = less work),

    If you would like to contact me I would only be more helpful in explaining the major affect the new system will effect autistic people.


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