Benefit cap may encourage couples to separate
From today, families claiming benefits in London boroughs of Haringey, Croydon, Bromley and Enfield can claim a maximum of £500 per week, while single people can claim a maximum of £350. The cap is designed, the government says, to ensure people on benefits do not receive more than the national average salary. It will be rolled out across England and Wales from July.
“It will provide clear incentives for people to get into employment and will give taxpayers the assurance that high claims out are no longer possible. We have also ensured vulnerable people are protected with clear exceptions for people claiming disability benefits.”
Now in analysis of the possible social effects, economist Robert Joyce has claimed that the cuts could lead “…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.”
“This ‘couple penalty’ is presumably something the government would not be keen on, as it has said that it wishes to reduce couple penalties in the tax and benefit system.”
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
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