Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Housing Benefit Cuts Will Hit Poor Hard.

with 6 comments


The cuts in Housing Benefit will hit hard. I think this is going to be a major cause of distress. Not only, as people here have remarked, is it almost impossible to rent a new place when you’re on the dole but many landlords already make life difficult for anyone on Benefits. Having to fork out that ‘extra’ money – when the DWP already says the existing JSA level is the minimum you need to (barely) live on –  is a hard demand. It will also affect anyone trying to get back into work, since people on low-paid jobs are often helped out by Housing Benefit.

From the Guardian (Here.)

Almost a million of the poorest people in Britain will lose on average £12 a week next year – a drop of up to 17% of their disposable income, according to a government analysis of housing benefits cuts announced in last month’s budget. 

The figures show that 170,000 pensioners, 240,000 low-paid workers and half a million others will be affected.

The greatest impact will be felt by the unemployed, who will have to find an extra £11 a week to pay their rents – their jobseeker’s allowance is £65.

More than 40,000 households will lose more than £1,000 a year.

The government says the cuts are necessary as the cost to the taxpayer of housing benefit expenditure is now £20bn – double that of a decade ago.

The government’s analysis looks only at the effect of changes next year. These will cap the amount of housing benefit allowance, peg the amount of support to the bottom third of rents in the claimant’s borough and remove a £15 incentive paid to families who seek cheaper accommodation.

There have been persistent warnings from campaigners that the draconian nature of the reforms will lead to parts of the country being emptied of poor people.

Helen Williams, assistant director at the National Housing Federation, said: “Almost 100% of claimants will be worse off. There’s a very real risk that these cuts will push hundreds of thousands of people into poverty, debt and even on to the streets if they end up being evicted.”

Labour said the “figures prove that the government’s housing benefit cuts will push thousands of people into poverty and homelessness”. Yvette Cooper, the shadow secretary for work and pensions, said: “Almost every private sector tenant in the country on local housing allowance is going to be badly hit by these plans – including over 50,000 of the poorest pensioners.”

Cooper described the measures as just the “tip of iceberg”, representing less than a third of the putative savings of £1.76bn outlined by the coalition government. “Shocking that this is just the tip of the iceberg, as these only include figures for 2011, when many more cuts come in after that,” she said.

Today the Department for Work and Pensions appeared to accept that the changes would leave some people in receipt of housing benefit unable to rent properties in prosperous parts of the country.

“What these reforms mean is that people receiving housing benefit may not be able to live in expensive city centres, but the same applies to most working families who do not receive benefit,” it said.

The minister for welfare reform, Lord Freud, a former Labour adviser, said that the previous government had let housing benefit “spiral out of control” and left families “in properties which they could never afford to maintain”.


Hat tips to Homeless Harry and everyone else who’s posted on this


Written by Andrew Coates

July 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

6 Responses

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  1. Cuts to the local housing allowance will hit almost everyone claiming the benefit, with an average loss of £12 a week.

    A government impact assessment on the changes, the bulk of which were announced in the June Budget, has concluded 936,960 of the 939,220 local housing allowance claimants will lose out


    Dosser Dave

    July 26, 2010 at 9:29 am

    • They probably dont realise how much of a big deal the £12 per week is…. I mean to them (MP salary) £12 a week is neither here or there.

      Flexible New Deal

      July 26, 2010 at 9:54 am

      • Exactly, when I saw this comment I thought of how it irked when we lost the £15 a week Training Allowance for when we had a Flexible New Deal Placement.

        That’s bad enough, but losing this sum out of what they already say is the minimum you need to live on is a scandal.

        Andrew Coates

        July 26, 2010 at 10:37 am

      • MP Salary: £65,738 …say £80,000 with their other incomes included etc.

        Works out at say £1,539 a week which £12 is approx 0.8% of their weekly pay.

        For a jobseeker thats 18.5% of their weekly income.. almost one fifth!

        They need to try and find 1/5 of their income from somewhere to keep up their existing expenditure or need to cut 1/5 of their budget.

        How difficult is cutting 1/5th? (http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/ says £661 billion) Get the Government to try cutting £132.2 billion … I’ll take that back, they would probably go out and do that!

        Flexible New Deal

        July 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm

  2. http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/business_money/cameron+plans+council+house+reform/3733302

    Cameron plans council house reform

    Source PA News

    Updated on 03 August 2010

    Council houses should no longer be granted “for life”, David Cameron has suggested in a bid to make sure those in most need can access accommodation.

    The Prime Minister said it makes sense for tenants to be given fixed-term deals in future – so they can be moved on if their circumstances change.

    He spoke out after being questioned by a mother of two teenagers who said she had slept on a blow-up bed for two years because her local council could not find her a bigger house.

    Any move to reform the system would cause “a big argument”, he conceded – but said he believes it is right to look at a more flexible system.

    The Government is investing more money in social housing, he told the voter who raised her case during a public question and answer session in Birmingham.

    “But there is a bigger question here, which is: how do we make sure that people are able to move through the housing chain?”, he went on.

    “At the moment we have a system very much where, if you get a council house or an affordable house, it is yours forever and in some cases people actually hand them down to their children.

    “And actually it ought to be about need. Your need has got greater … and yet there isn’t really the opportunity to move.”

    Many councils operate successful “swap” schemes to match tenants, he said.

    “But there is a question mark about whether, in future, should we be asking, actually, when you are given a council home, is it for fixed period, because maybe in five or 10 years you will be doing a different job and be better paid and you won’t need that home, you will be able to go into the private sector.”

    Channel 4 News

    August 3, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    • Fortunately housing is a devolved issue in Jockland so this pile of shite policy wont be apply up here. Yer no welcome up here Cameron & Clegg ya soft southern pansies.

      Hamish McTeucher

      August 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm

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