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Parent work conditionality

From April 2017 parents claiming universal credit, including

lone parents, will be expected to prepare for work when their

youngest child turns two, and to look for work when their

youngest child turns three.

Housing benefit entitlement for young people

Those out of work aged 18 to 21 making new claims to universal

credit will no longer be automatically entitled to the housing

element from April 2017.

The household benefit cap

The benefit cap, which puts a ceiling on the amount of benefits

out-of-work working-age families can receive, will be lowered to

£20,000, except in Greater London where the cap will be £23,000.

The current exemptions to the cap will continue to apply.

Support for mortgage interest (SMI)

From 1 April 2016, the SMI waiting period will be lengthened

to 39 weeks, but the capital limit will remain at £200,000. From

April 2018, new SMI payments will be made as a loan repayable

on sale of the property, or when the claimant returns to work.

Payments will accrue interest at a rate tied to the Office for

Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast for gilts.

Benefits and tax credits uprating

Most working-age benefits, child tax credit and working tax

credit (excluding disability elements) will be frozen for four years

from April 2016.

National living wage

A new premium will be introduced for those aged 25 and over

starting at 50p an hour leading to a new national living wage of

£7.20 an hour in April 2016. The government’s ambition is for the

national living wage to increase to 60% of median earnings by

2020, by which time it is expected to reach over £9 an hour.


8 JULY 2015

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