Socialist Worker

Government lies about housing benefit payouts

Issue No. 2213

Tory cuts to housing benefit will affect around one million people.

By April 2011 a housing benefit cap will be imposed based on property size—£250 per week for a one-bedroom property and £450 per week for four or more bedrooms.

This is less than the rent for the average working class home in parts of London and some other cities.

Far more people will be affected by the change to the amount of housing benefit being paid out.

By October 2011 housing benefit will only be payable up to 30 percent of the average cost of renting a private property in a local area.

Currently nearly half of all housing benefit claimants have to find almost £100 a month on top of their housing benefit to pay their rent. They will now need to find much more.

By 2013-14 housing benefit increases will be linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI)—not actual rent levels. This will lower the amount of housing benefit people recieve.

Between 1999-2007, CPI increased by 15 percent, but average rents increased by 44 percent.

Disgracefully, Tory toff chancellor George Osborne tried to claim in the June budget that some families receive £104,000 a year in housing benefit.

But this was based on the amount of housing benefit which could be claimed for a five-bedroom house in Kensington and Chelsea—one of the most expensive areas in London.

And when challenged, the government could not provide one example of a family receiving this amount.

In reality, the average housing benefit payment is just £84 per week—and the new proposals will leave people much worse off.


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