19:56 GMT31 July 2021
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    The UK government will no longer cap benefits for thousands of British families after Work and Pensions backtracked on its universal credit programme.

    Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd scrapped plans to cap benefits to 15,000 families with more than two children, stating that exemptions would apply to children born before the system was launched in 2017 to ensure it was "compassionate and fair". 

    Some groups such as the Child Poverty Action Group have lauded the gesture as "fantastically good news", but stated that the policy should cover all families. Claimants can usually receive £231.67 per child, per month. 

    Instead of authorising the transfer of three million people from the old benefits system, the government will also pilot 10,000 claimants on the universal credit process. 

    "I'm making a number of changes to our welfare system to make sure that it delivers on the intent which is to be a safety net and also to be a compassionate and fair system helping people into work," Ms. Rudd told the BBC 4's Today programme.

    She added: "We have listened to people. We know they want more individual assistance either with getting payments more regularly or having payments made direct to landlords." 

    "These elements, which could help universal credit work more helpfully for individuals receiving it, are what I'm going to be changing," she said. 

    ​Former Work and Pensions secretary Esther McVey announced changes to prevent claimants from waiting unduly for vital funding as the government started a "controlled migration" process. 

    READ MORE: Universal Credit 'Managed Migration' Causing Spike in Food Bank Use — Report

    But Labour has slammed the move, stating it "does not go far enough". 

    "The rigid assessment system cannot cope with something as basic as incomes that fluctuate from month to month", Margaret Greenwood MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said.  

    "The High Court's ruling confirms once again that Universal Credit is failing people on low pay and pushing many into hardship simply because of when their payday falls.


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    United Kingdom, Amber Rudd, Margaret Greenwood, Esther McVey, UK Department for Work and Pensions, British Labour Party, Child Poverty Action Group, poverty, social benefits, unemployment benefits, extreme poverty, universal credit
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