PA Iain Duncan Smith
Figures released by the Government have revealed there are 190 families in the UK with 10 or more children under 18 whose parents are not working and who receive more than £60,000 a year in benefits.
The families' hand-outs include jobseekers' allowance, incapacity benefit, income support and employment and support allowance as well as housing benefit, child tax credits, child benefit and council tax benefit.
These families are eligible for £61,183 a year in state support. A family in work would have to earn £93,000 to be left with this amount of money after tax, illustrating how handouts condemn such families to a life on benefits, because it would not be worth their while to take on work.
The statistics were released under a Freedom of Information Act request from the Daily Mail, and also showed that nearly 100,000 people on benefits have four or more children, whilst there are more than 900 claimants with at least eight dependents.
The Daily Mail reports that Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith wants to cap benefits for out-of-work families at £26,000 - which is the average income of a working household - to stop parents having extra children to gain more cash. The Lib Dems however, say the cap should be higher. A vote will be held on the proposals next week.
Iain Duncan Smith told the paper that Labour had left the welfare system in a 'sorry state' and that many people were better off being out of work. He said that introducing a cap would 'restore fairness to our welfare system while ensuring that support goes to those who need it.' He added that it was not fair that 'benefit claimants can receive higher incomes than families who are in work, in some cases more than double the average household income.'
What do you think?
Should benefits be capped, or should families be entitled to support no matter how many children they have?