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Labour’s position on capping benefits

Is Labour’s position on capping benefits a carefully-crafted thought-through policy from Liam Byrne, the man charged with overseeing Labour’s policy review? Or it is just a bit of triangulated political posturing from the man responsible for the “no money left” 2010 ‘gag’? We’ll leave it to your judgement.

Labour’s front bench team yesterday explained its position to Labour MPs like this:

Labour supports a benefit cap because we support the principle that people have a responsibility to take a job if they can work. It is not fair for a household out of work and on benefits to receive more than the average wages of a household in work.

And yet the government’s impact assessment shows that only 39% of the 67,000 households affected get job-seekers allowance and are therefore expected by government to be seeking work. Almost all the rest are either on ESA — employment and support allowance (22%) — which replaced Incapacity Allowance and therefore are too sick to work, or on income support (38%) and are typically caring for young children or not expected by the Government to be in work for some other reason.

Let us know what you think?


  1. Lisa Ansell says:

    Not required to work should be replaced by ‘probably don’t have the ability because of other responsibilities, disability and endemic discrimination’. This is punishing those least likely to be able to respond.

  2. Lisa Ansell says:

    Forgot to say- good post.

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