Benefits cap necessary to 'change a culture'

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has defended the new benefits cap of £500 a week, arguing that it is necessary to change a culture of large families staying out of work.

"This is both about saving money and, more particularly, about changing a culture that had left families, particularly large families, finding it easy and a reality for their lives to stay out of work on taxpayers' benefits," he told BBC Breakfast.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire/

The MP said a "very, very significant number" of people had gone out to work in households within the four London boroughs where the cap has been trialed.

Smith added: "The key principle behind this all over the country is that those who work, those who are trying to do the best in their households, do not see others who are down the road, who are on benefits, on welfare, actually getting more than they do."

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Benefits cap UK roll out

The Government's controversial household benefit cap is beginning today across the country. The cap limits payments to £500 per week for a couple and lone parents and £350 per week for single adults.