The government announced plans for those claiming benefit for more than six months to be required to wear special headwear in public, in effect a compulsory benefits cap. “There will be no stigma attached at all,” said the Work and Pensions secretary. "The hats will simply advertise the fact that the wearer is seeking employment and has been for a long time, allowing would-be employers to approach them and offer them the minimum wage. Or simply to allow members of the public to give these people - who let’s face it wouldn’t have any hat at all unless we gave it to them - a piece of their mind.”
“The so called benefits cap has been blown out of all proportion” said PM David Cameron. “For a start, it’s a hat not a cap. Secondly, it’s not – as some people have been saying – going to look like a dunce’s cap. Remember when Mr Hague started wearing a baseball cap backwards and calling everyone “dude” and we were all a bit concerned? It may look a bit like that. And all I can say is “If the cap fits….”
"Meaning we will do our very best to supply the right headwear to the right people. This isn’t about forcing people to do things they don’t want to do with the curtains closed during the day, as Mr Osborne put it. When people go inside they can do what they like. Outside, we want some of them to wear these special hats, and I think especially in this cold weather these people will see the benefit. Or rather, they won’t."
"There's also going to be a special cap that we want some of the women in these families to wear, because part of the problem is that we can't afford to keep very big families with lots of children on benefits. I'm not entirely sure how wearing a hat will, you know, affect this situation for the better, in fact some er ladies look better wearing a hat, and I for one bought that Tom Jones record when it came out, but I may have got the wrong end of the stick. Mr Hunt the health secretary has said he will come in and explain it to me, or he said I could ask Sam. But she only wears a hat for Ascot, which is a few months off."