Socialist Worker

TUC analysis: More than 900,000 families set to lose £12 a week in housing benefit

Issue No. 2213

Analysis by the Trades Union Congress of June's Emergency Budget published today (Thursday) reveals that 936,960 households across the UK will each lose around £12 a week (£624 a year) as a result of changes to housing benefit (HB) announced in the Budget.

Cuts to the local housing allowance will hit almost everyone in private rented housing on the benefit, says the TUC.

The analysis of figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveals that regionally, the largest cuts will be in London where 159,370 families will see their HB cut by £22 a week, adding up to a loss of £1,144 a year.

Another 123,000 households in the South East will lose £12 a week (£624 a year), while 58,680 families in the East Midlands, 70,970 families in the East of England, 130,900 families in the North West and 83,180 families in the South West will lose £10 a week (£520 a year).

The proposed cuts, due to come into force in April 2011, include:

  • the restriction of the bedroom entitlement to four bedroom rates
  • capping the amount that can be claimed under local housing allowance (LHA) at between £250 and £400 a week (depending on property size
  • removing a £15 a week excess payment for tenants who find a good deal on rents

From October 2011, LHA rents will also be calculated on the 30th percentile of private sector rents rather than the median.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'This cut in housing benefit will make a real difference to some of our poorest and most vulnerable families, and will affect nearly one million households.

'Families in London will find themselves out of pocket to the tune of £1,144 a year, and households all over the UK will be left much worse off.

'The Chancellor promised 'not to hide any hard choices from the British people or bury them in the small print of the Budget documents', but this is another reminder that we are very definitely not all in this together.

'While the rich have been let off, families are being left to pick up the cost of the recession.'

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