The great benefits cap debate

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Benefit claimants in north Northamptonshire received £97.3m in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit in the past financial year.

Almost £30m was also paid out in Income Support and £22.1m in Jobseeker’s Allowance in 2010-11.

The Evening Telegraph reveals the figures as the Government prepares to push through its welfare reforms which would see a cap on benefits introduced of £26,000 a year – the equivalent of a £35,000 salary before tax.

Today we reveal what people in Northamptonshire think of the proposed benefits cap, which would come into force next April.

Jane Griffiths, of Wellingborough, claimed benefits while her children were growing up.

She said: “I never found the finances easy – I had to clean the most disgusting factories to get some extra money for Christmas and I did not have a holiday for years.

“Leave the unemployed alone, most want to work.”

But Catherine Roberts, of Kettering, who continued to work even while having radiotherapy for cancer, said: “It really does make my blood boil. We need to put the system back to what it was designed for – a safety net for the hard-working, not a featherbed for the bone idle.”