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Housing benefit cuts will increase homelessness, Greens warn

Cllr Jillian Creasy

Cllr Jillian Creasy, Green group leader on Sheffield City Council, warns that the coalition government’s cuts to housing benefit could result in increasing social problems with serious debt and homelessness. One in five Sheffield households receive housing benefit and this will rise as more people lose their jobs, so the cuts will have a big impact .

She was commenting on a recent report published by homelessness charity Crisis which says that across the country, the average loss of income will be £600 a year per household.

Cllr Creasy comments :

“About 48,000 households in Sheffield are currently claiming housing benefit. A loss of £600 for someone earning £16,000 (after tax-free allowance) is the equivalent of an income tax rise of 3.75%. These cuts by the coalition government will leave more Sheffield people struggling to pay the rent, more falling into serious debt and more people becoming homeless.

It’s very unfair, coming at a time when many people are facing economic uncertainty or even redundancy. Once again we see the coalition government ‘s cuts are hitting the poor hardest. The government could avoid these cuts by tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion by some of the wealthiest, which could raise billions of pounds a year.” ENDS

For more information please contact Eamonn Ward on 0114 2311548 or 0750 3883740

Notes :

The report by Crisis can be found at :http://www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/publications/1008HBCuts%20formatted.doc. Crisis comments, “The Government announced cuts of £1.8bn to housing benefit in its emergency Budget soon after coming to power. According to an impact assessment by the Department of Work and Pensions, every one of the 123,000 households in the region reliant on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) – the form of housing benefit paid to tenants in the Private Rented Sector – will be affected.”

£600 as a percentage of £16,000 = 3.75%. Taking into account the tax-free allowance, the actual percentage would be much higher.

This and all other raw figures here are derived from the aforementioned report by Crisis, citing two government sources: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/local-authority-staff/housing-benefit/claims-processing/local-housing-allowance/impact-of-changes.shtml and http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/impacts-of-hb-proposals.pdf.

Promoted by Eamonn Ward, 73 Eskdale Rd, Sheffield, S6 1SL on behalf of Sheffield Green Party

Topics: Budget, City Wide, Housing, Jillian Creasy

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