Hunt: The govt won’t pay for your children

By staff

Benefit claimants should not expect the state to fund their large families, Jeremy Hunt has warned.

Discussing the government’s plans to cap each household’s benefits at the average national income, the culture secretary said the state could not be expected to finance people who decide to have more children than they can afford.

“The number of children that you have is a choice and what we’re saying is that if people are living on benefits, then they make choices but they also have to have responsibility for those choices,” he told BBC2’s Newsnight.

“It’s not going to be the role of the state to finance those choices.”

He added: “You can have children but if you are going to ask for support that is more than the average wage that people earn, then we’re saying no, the state shouldn’t support that.

“That’s not fair on working people who have to pay the taxes to pay those benefits.”

Government sources say the £26,000 cap will affect 50,000 families although independent think tanks put the figure far higher, at up to 350,000.

Chancellor George Osborne said the disabled would be exempt from the cap, which will mostly be applied to housing benefit.