Benefit cap leaves Brent the second most affected authority in the UK

Brent is the second most affected UK authority by the government’s benefit cap (Pic credit: PA)

Brent is the second most affected UK authority by the governments benefit cap (Pic credit: PA) - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Brent is the second most-affected authority in the UK by the government’s benefit cap, figures show.

According to statistics revealed by the Department for Work and Pensions, more than 1,200 households in the borough have seen their state benefits slashed since handouts were capped at £500-a-week in early April.

Only Enfield has a higher number, with families living in more than 1,500 homes in the area seeing a reduction in benefit handouts.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said: “The welfare system is in need of reform, but this cruel and thoughtless policy is devastating local peoples’ lives and is a waste of Brent taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

“Any savings this reform is supposed to make are gobbled up by the cost councils are burdened with when it comes to supporting families affected by the cuts.

“Moving people out of the borough, making sure they have accommodation and responding to the pressures put on schools and services outside of London all costs money at a time when swingeing Government cuts have reduced the council’s budget by £104million.”

Of the almost 33,000 homes that had their housing benefit capped, 47 per cent are in London.

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Lord David Freud, minister for welfare reform, said: “These figures show that the benefit cap is returning fairness to the system by ensuring that families on benefits can no longer get more money than the average family earns.

“It is not right that some families on benefits were receiving amounts of money that hardworking taxpayers could only dream of and our reforms are working to fix the system.”