WELFARE..

Nearly 200 households with ten or more children are costing the state £2million a year in housing benefit. An estimated 380,000 households with more than two children rely on the handouts to pay their rent. Some 42,000 of these have more than five children, receiving on average £7,500 for their housing costs. And 190 families have ten or more children, receiving on average £10,526 in housing benefit. Families with three or more children cost taxpayers some £2.3billion in housing benefits. The government has vowed to cut this back by imposing a cap on the maximum amount that can be claimed in welfare to £26,000 a year. Cabinet ministers have also triggered controversy by urging welfare recipients to consider whether they can afford to have more children. Official figures show that families with nine children receive more than £11,000 a year in housing benefit, or £925 a month. The average family spends £606 a month on rent or mortgage payments, a third less than is being paid out in housing benefit to these large families. The payments also go to families or individuals in work but on low incomes. Separate figures released this week showed that 40,000 households with five or more children where at least one parent is on welfare cost taxpayers a massive £150million in child benefit alone. The overall burden on the state of super-size families where one parent is on a jobless or sickness benefit is at least £350million – not counting housing benefit. Some 180 families on jobless benefits have ten or more children, and ten families have an astonishing 13 or more. The figures were released by the Department for Work and Pensions under a Freedom of Information request from the Sun newspaper.

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