By Jonathan Davies

The Housing Benefit cap is providing a "clear incentive to work", according to the government.

The claim comes after the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) published figures which claim 22,000 people who had their benefits capped moved into work, whilst reducing the amount of benefit they claim or not claiming any at all.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, said: "As well as restoring fairness to the system, and saving the taxpayer money, these figures show the benefit cap provides a clear incentive to people to get into work."

The government said that before the cap, 300 of the highest claiming families received more than £10 million in benefits every year.

Mr Duncan Smith added: "By putting an end to runaway benefit claims, and introducing a system which guarantees you will always be better off in work, thousands of people who have been affected by the cap are gaining the financial security and esteem that comes with a job and a pay packet."

The DWP says that since the cap was introduced in April 2013, around 58,700 households have had their benefits capped — 35,600 of those households are no longer subject to the cap, with nearly 22,400 of them moving into work, reducing their Housing Benefit claim, or no longer claiming Housing Benefit at all.

The claims follow figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), issued yesterday (Wednesday), which showed unemployment in the UK down to 5.5% and the employment rate up to a record 73.5%.