The government has capped benefits for more than 100 families in two Buckinghamshire towns, including single parent households.

More than 100 families in Chesham and Amersham have had their benefits capped last year despite being told they are not expected to be looking for work.

Poverty campaigners at Child Poverty Action Group charity said the figures demonstrate the flaws in the government’s approach to capping benefits, which is designed to encourage more people into work.

The chief executive of the charity Alison Garnham said: “The Government’s position on the cap is incoherent. It must be removed before it harms more young lives."

There were 116 families having their benefits capped in Chesham and Amersham as of last August, figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show.

The benefits cap limits the Universal Credit of households who earn less than £658 a month. Claimants avoid the cap if they can earn more.

Of the 116 families, 45 were not expected to be in work by the DWP either due to health problems or having caring duties – often for very young children.

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Another 26 families were already in work, but they didn’t earn enough to reach the threshold for the cap to be lifted.

In Chesham and Amersham the benefit cap cuts the Universal Credit of affected families by an average of £237 a month, analysis by Child Poverty Action Group shows.

The 116 families affected had 280 children, and included 95 single-parent families.