In-work housing benefit claims soar by 60%
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
Standard housing pictureImage: Housing via Shutterstock
The amount of people in work claiming housing benefit has surged by 60% since 2010, new research has revealed.
Commissioned by Labour from the House of Commons library, the study shows that 400,000 more working people are claiming HB every year - at an estimated extra cost of £4.8 billion over the course of the current parliament.
The area with the greatest rise in applicants is Croydon, where HB claims have soared by 1100%. Fareham (883%) and Pendle (777%) have also seen massive increases.
The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, said: “These shocking figures expose the complete failure of David Cameron’s government to control housing benefit spending because more people are struggling to pay their rent. Since 2010 there has been a 60% increase in the number of working people claiming housing benefit costing taxpayers a staggering £4.8 billion.
“The huge increase in people who are in work claiming housing benefit is the result of the government’s failure to make work pay, tackle the cost-of-living crisis and build the new homes we need.
“Labour will tackle the rising cost-of-living by freezing gas and electricity bills and we’ll make work pay by restoring the value of the national minimum wage and getting more employers to pay a living wage, ensuring more people earn enough to cover the cost of living.”
Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds added: “There’s a cost-of-living crisis in Britain, but David Cameron hasn’t even recognised there is a crisis, let-alone begun to tackle it.
“This government has presided over the lowest level of house building in peacetime since the 1920s. David Cameron’s failure to tackle the housing shortage means the cost of housing is rising out of reach of low-to-middle-income earners.
“The government’s failure isn’t just affecting those struggling with housing costs - it’s also hitting taxpayers who are picking up the bill.
"You can’t deal with the cost-of-living crisis without building more homes. That’s why Labour has committed to getting at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020. Labour is also committed to reforming the private rented sector by banning rip-off letting agent fees for tenants and introducing long-term stable tenancies with predictable rents."