Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has clashed with Owen Smith, the newly appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, over the subject of the benefit cap.
Smith had said that it would be “foolhardy” to oppose the benefit cap, but that Labour would not support any further reductions to the level of the benefit cap. The previous benefits cap was supported by the previous Labour leaders, Ed Miliband and Harriet Harman.
Corbyn’s spokesman today though rejected this and confirmed that the benefits cap would be entirely abolished. In an interview with the New Statesman Corbyn also said:
“In my own constituency, the benefit cap has had the effect of social cleansing, of people receiving benefit but the benefit is capped, therefore, they can’t meet the rent levels charged and are forced to move. It’s devastating for children, devastating for the family and very bad for the community as a whole”.
The current benefits cap is £500 a week for couples, £500 a week for single parents with children and £350 for single adults with no children living with them. There are some exceptions for those with disabilities and special requirements.