Benefit cap ‘may reduce couple cohabitation’

Family holding coins

Family holding coinsWe've all been closely following the progress of the Government's plans to introduce a welfare cap in recent days.

A range of commentators have shared their views about the proposals, which would impact upon families across the country, and now an expert from the influential Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think-tank has added his voice to the debate.

Ministers plan to create an annual benefit cap of £26,000 per household, which would include child benefit.

According to the IFS, benefits worth £83 a week could be lost by around 67,000 households once the cap comes into force in 2013/14.

The weekly cap will stand at £350 a week for single people without youngsters and £500 for other households.

However, the IFS research economist Robert Joyce has warned about some of the consequences a cap could have in the UK.

He stated: "A ... possible behavioural impact is for fewer people to cohabit, since the benefits cap is to apply at the household level, and hence living apart could split benefits across households and mean that neither is subject to a cap."

What are your views on the Coalition's benefit cap proposals? And could a loophole in the system really stop people from moving in with their partners?

Feel free to share your views by commenting below, or emailing us on [email protected]