Brent residents hit more by the benefit cap than all affected families in Wales

Dawn Butler is the Labour MP for Brent Central

Dawn Butler is the Labour MP for Brent Central - Credit: Archant

Brent continues to be the worst hit local authority affected by the benefit cap than any other in the country, according to government figures.

The latest data from the Department for Work and Pensions shows more people in the borough have been affected by the controversial measures introduced two years ago than the entire population of Wales.

Under the rules 2,252 households in the borough have seen their state benefits slashed since handouts were capped at £500-a-week compared to 1,644 in Wales.

The cap includes housing benefit payments but with soaring rents in Brent this inclusion means many affected households are struggling to make ends meet.

Enfield, in North London, was the only other local authority in London where more than 2,000 households were affected.

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Brent was named as the worst hit last year.

Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central, who revealed the figure to the Times, said: “Those affected are often the most vulnerable people in our communities and this government is turning its back on them.

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“Many vulnerable children’s lives in Brent have been hit by these savage cuts, any considerations about further reducing the benefit cap will further impact the lives of so many families who struggle day to day.

She added: “I have been inundated at my constituency office, people are desperate for help. I will campaign for more social housing with affordable rents.”

The Conservative government is planning to lower the cap further, with overall benefits going down from £26,000 a year to £23,000.

In most cases, the majority of the household benefits go to the landlord bringing fears that lowering the cap will push more people into poverty.

Iain Duncan Smith, work and pensions secretary, said: “As well as restoring fairness to the system, and saving the taxpayer money, the benefit cap provides a clear incentive to people to get into work.

“By putting an end to runaway benefit claims, and introducing a system which guarantees you will always be better off in work, thousands of people who have been affected by the cap are gaining the financial security and esteem that comes with a job and a pay packet.”

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