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IFS Deputy Director Carl Emmerson gives evidence on the benefit cap

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IFS Deputy Director Carl Emmerson gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee today as part of their inquiry into the benefit cap.

Since 2013 the government has placed a cap on the amount that some working-age families can receive in benefits. In May 2018 60,000 households saw their benefits reduced by the cap. The Government’s objectives for the cap are “improving work incentives, promoting fairness between those on out of work benefits and taxpayers and delivering savings”. The Work and Pensions Select Committee wants to understand how well the benefit cap is achieving those aims.

Carl Emmerson commented: “Previous research by the DWP, which IFS peer-reviewed, showed that the benefit cap did increase the likelihood of a household moving onto the Working Tax Credit, and therefore potentially a move into paid work. And some of those who lost particularly large amount were induced to move house. But the large majority of affected claimants responded neither by moving into work nor by moving house.”