Government shouldn’t financially support large families, warns minister

Benefits for families should be capped regardless of number of children, says Culture Secretary

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The state should not support families who receive more in benefits than the average working family earns, according to culture minister, Jeremy Hunt. The coalition government has revealed plans to restrict the amount of benefits a family can claim from 2013.

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“The number of children that you have is a choice,” said Jeremy on the BBC programme, Newsnight. “What we’re saying is that if people are living on benefits then they make choices but they also have to have responsibility. It’s not going to be the role of the state to finance those choices.”

Labour leader, Ed Miliband, has criticised the statement, saying the government are “lecturing” people. Other criticisms have been voiced by charities who fear children will be the biggest losers in the shakeup.

“Politicians should be focusing on how they are going to meet the target to end child poverty in the UK by 2020 rather than perpetuating the myth of the ‘undeserving poor’,” said Sally Copley of Save the Children.

It is estimated these changes will affect more than 50,000 households. Despite the Government’s insistence that the decision is about fairness, there are fears the issue is being over-simplified and will fail to take into account the situation many families find themselves in.

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Will you be affected by a benefits cap? How will you cope?

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