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IDS: Welfare reform is about 'changing lives'

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The government is set to come up against strong opposition in the House of Lords over its plans to cap benefits payments to £26,000 per household per year in England, Scotland and Wales.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told the Today programme's Evan Davis that, despite accusations that thousands of children will be disproportionately affected by the proposed measures, the government does not believe there will be a increase in child poverty.

He went on to say that such criticism is based on "assumptions that people's situations don't change" and that the number of families involved is "relatively small".

Mr Duncan Smith insisted that the proposed cap is "quite fair" and will mean families are "not trapped in benefit dependency" but will be "moved from their circumstances" and "play a positive role" in getting people back to work.

Responding to claims that a benefits cap would lead to families being made homeless, Mr. Duncan Smith insisted that the definition of homelessness that is "bandied around" is "very misleading for the public" because it is defined in the sense that children have to share rooms and not that people will not have a home to go to.


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