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Kingston Citizens Advice Bureau boss says families could suffer after 1 percent benefit rise cap
A 1 per cent cap on benefit rises, well below inflation, will hit families hard, the head of Kingston’s Citizen Advice Bureau (KCAB) has warned.
Chief executive Pippa Mackie said KCAB anticipated a “surge” in the number of people asking for advice and will have to work with voluntary groups to provide support for struggling families.
She said: “We are very worried about this proposal and our fear is that some of the most vulnerable people in society are going to have their position made even worse.
“We are all going to do our very best to make our resources go as far as possible.
“There are going to be more clients, with more problems, with more complicated problems – and we have got fewer resources.”
The welfare benefits up-rating bill will cap rises in benefit payments at 1 percent annually until 2016.
Mrs Mackie said: “How are people supposed to manage that?
“And when you put it with all the other welfare reforms it is very worrying.”
The contents of the bill led more than 40 Anglican bishops, including the bishops of Southwark and Croydon, to write to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper expressing their worries.
In the letter they said: “This is a change that will have a deeply disproportionate impact on families with children, pushing 200,000 children into poverty.”
The Right Reverend Dr Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston, was not among those who signed the letter.
But a spokeswoman for the diocese of Southwark said Bishop Cheetham was “broadly sympathetic” to its argument.
John Azah, director of the Kingston Race and Equalities Council, said the changes could affect the people he works with.
He said: “I guess that when it kicks in we are going to see quite a few people come in to say they need some help.”