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Khan calls for benefit cap to be lifted to help low-income Londoners access coronavirus support

MAYOR of London Sadiq Khan demanded an immediate lifting of  benefit caps today, as tens of thousands of Londoners are missing out on vital Covid-19 support.

New research by Policy in Practice, commissioned by City Hall, has shown that people affected by the cap are being denied access to hundreds of pounds in government support each month.

The government places a limit on how much people can receive from the welfare system.

However the study showed that the number of low-income households in London at this limit doubled to 44,300 in April, when the government announced it was increasing benefits.

The research calculated that people at the cap are missing an average of £320 a month which they are entitled to through the government’s Covid-19 support funding.

Mr Khan argued that temporarily removing the cap would stop tens of thousands of families being excluded from these support measures.

He said: “It’s appalling that tens of thousands of Londoners are being excluded from vital financial support during these challenging times because the government has not lifted the cap on benefits.

“They claim to be standing by those who rely on these benefits, but by failing to raise the benefit cap they are actually preventing thousands of low-income families from accessing this crucial support.

“This will leave families unable to pay their rent and other essential bills, and ultimately at risk of homelessness.”

Generation Rent policy manager Caitlin Wilkinson said: “The benefits cap was already pushing families in London into severe poverty before the pandemic hit. 

“Now thousands more Londoners are relying on the benefits system, the cap means they will not have enough to cover rent and makes them vulnerable to eviction when the government’s ban comes to an end next month.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: “The benefit cap, up to £28,000 in London, provides fairness for hard-working taxpaying households, whilst providing a reasonable safety net of support for the most vulnerable.”

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