Social Security and Welfare Reform

How Many Families are Affected by More than One Benefit Cut this April?

  • Published 4th Apr 2013
  • Authors: Hannah Aldridge, , Adam Tinson,
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

This paper looks at how many families will be affected by one or more of the benefit cuts that are introduced from April 2013. Government estimates so far have only dealt with the scope and depth of each cut on its own. Our research finds that 2.6 million families (8% of families in the UK) are affected by at least one of the three absolute benefit cuts and just under half a million families are affected by more than one.


The graph above shows the number of families affected by Council Tax Benefit, the under-occupation penalty, the overall benefit cap and benefit up-rating. It shows that:

  • The largest group is the 2 million families that have seen only their council tax benefit cut.
  • Of the 660,000 families hit by the bedroom tax, most of them (440,000) have also had their council tax benefit cut as well.
  • Those affected by both the bedroom tax and the change to council tax benefit now have on average £16.90 less in income a week. This is 20% higher than the individual bedroom tax cut and five times higher than the individual council tax benefit cut.
  • Almost two thirds (63%) of the 2.6 million families affected by an absolute cut in benefit have also seen a fall in real terms to other benefits.
  • In failing to consider the overlap between the benefit cuts, the DWP has seriously underestimated the impact that its reforms are having on individual households.