1. ITV Report

Benefit cap brings a change not seen in a generation

Four London Boroughs will be trialing the benefit cap from Monday Photo:

A new cap on benefit payments is being trialed in some London boroughs, starting from today.

Haringey, Enfield, Bromley and Croydon are the four boroughs that are altering the way they pay benefits in a major 'shake-up' of the system designed to encourage work.

Haringey is one of four London Boroughs to trial the benefits cap from Monday

The changes mean all the benefits people receive will be added up and stopped from going above a maximum limit.

  • For couples and single parents the cap will be £500 per week
  • For single adults, without children it will be £350 per week

There will be exemptions for example:

  • Anyone claiming certain disability benefits
  • Anyone claiming a war pension
  • Anyone in a job and claiming working tax credit

The idea is to make benefits less appealing and get people into Job Centres.

Martin Fitches, Job Centre Plus

"The best response to the benefit cap is to find work and that is what we here at Job Centre Plus have been doing. A year ago we wrote out to everybody who was going to be affected and we've been writing to them since.

Local authorities have also been in contact with them.

Basically we're trying to support people getting back into work.

– Martin Fitches, Job Centre Plus

Work is what Candice O'Hallaran wants, but she says she can not get it.

For years she has been sending off CVs, with no luck.

She and her two children will lose £160 a month.

Reverand Paul Nicolson knows it is not as easy as that, which is why he organised a march in Haringey, to protest against the benefits cap.

Reverand Paul Nicolson says the benefit cap is a draconian policy

"You don't need to starve the population to get it into work. The vast majority would far rather be working than on benefits and it's an unneccesarily draconian policy."

More on this story

  • What is the benefit cap?

    A look at what the benefit cap is, what it will mean for those receiving benefits and what the political reaction to the cap has been.