Estimates of the number of households in scope for the new benefit cap in 2016/17

The Welfare Reform and Work Bill incorporates a number of policy changes designed to improve work incentives. One of the measures included is that from 2016/17, total household benefit payments for working-age claimants will be capped at new levels, so that workless households will no longer be entitled to receive more than £20,000 in benefit (£13,400 for single adults with no dependent children) outside Greater London.

In February, the Government produced a report which gives an ad hoc analysis on the estimated number of households in scope for the benefit cap in 2016/17 by Local Authority once the new cap levels have been rolled out; the new levels are expected to launch from Autumn 2016 with rollout completed by 2017. The report shows the number of affected by the new benefit cap in 2016/17 by nine bandwidth categories.

This analysis has been performed on bespoke datasets commissioned for the purpose of evaluating the benefit cap, created from a range of administrative benefit records from different sources within the Department for Work and Pensions, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Local Authorities (LAs) including the Single Housing Benefit Extract and the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

The categories of the estimated average number of households, in the absence of behavioural response to the cap, in 2016/17 are presented in the table below.

Table 1: Benefit Cap bandings

Band Estimated number of households in scope for the new benefit cap in 2016/17 (in the absence of behavioural response)
1 0 to 199 households
2 200 to 399 households
3 400 to 599 households
4 600 to 799 households
5 800 to 999 households
6 1,000 to 1,999 households
7 2,000 to 2,999 households
8 3,000 to 3,999 households
9 4,000 to 4,999 households

Analysis of the information produced by Government shows that in the North no JobCentre Plus district is in the top three bands (highest number of households in scope for benefit cap). However, there are a total of four districts (6%) in band 6 (1,000 to 1,999 households) in the more populous metropolitan areas in West Yorkshire (Bradford and Leeds), Merseyside (Liverpool) and Greater Manchester Central and Cheshire (Manchester).

Over two-thirds (68%) of northern JobCentre Plus districts can be found in bands 1 and 2. The majority of these are made up by Cumbria and Lancashire and North East Yorkshire and the Humber districts. Table 2 shows the distribution of

Table 2: Distribution of JobCentre Plus Districts by band

Related Jobcentre Plus District Band 9 Band 8 Band 7 Band 6 Band 5 Band 4 Band 3 Band 2 Band 1
West Yorkshire 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 0
Merseyside 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 3 0
Greater Manchester Central and Cheshire 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 0
South Yorkshire 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 0
Greater Manchester East and West 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 3 0
Durham and Tees Valley 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
North East Yorkshire and the Humber 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 8
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
Cumbria and Lancashire 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 17
                   
Total 0 0 0 4 1 6 12 24 25
% in band 0% 0% 0% 6% 1% 8% 17% 33% 35%

A full list of which bands each local authority falls is available by following the link above.

If you need any more information about this data, please contact Barry Turnbull, Policy Services Officer at barry.turnbull@northern-consortium.org.uk

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