Housing benefit bill set to rise by £1 billion, warns Labour
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
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The housing benefit bill will rise by £1 billion by 2018, the Labour Party has warned.
Rachel Reeves MP, the shadow work and pensions secretary, is due to publish data from the House of Commons library that she says exposes the additional funds that will be used to pay people in work over the next four years.
Reeves is set to tell the annual GMB union conference that "The cost of the government's failure to get more people earning enough to put a roof over their head is the equivalent of 24,000 more nurses or 30 million additional GP appointments.
"And we all know why this is. We have more people than ever who are working but not earning enough to pay the rent - let alone get a mortgage; and we have the lowest levels of housebuilding since the 1920s.
"Not only will this improve living conditions for those in overcrowded accommodation, and restore the hope of home ownership to many for whom it now seems out of reach; not only does it have the potential to create thousands more construction jobs and apprenticeships; it's the best way to control the benefits bill as well."
Responding to Reeves' claims, a Conservative spokesperson said: "Labour let the housing benefit bill get out of control and they would do it all over again - they have opposed every single change we've made to get a grip on housing benefit spending.
"Rachel Reeves even voted against our cap which stops people claiming over £100,000 a year in housing benefit to live in expensive homes that other taxpayers could never afford."