Housing Benefit cuts to hit nearly 40 thousand North East families.

Alex CunninghamLabour today warned of the impact of changes to housing allowance on people living in the North East.


The Conservative Lib Dem Coalition government want to change the way local housing allowance is calculated.


Nationally, the change they propose means 700,000 people in Britain are set to lose out by an average of £9 a week according to official DWP figures, with losses in every local authority in Britain from October 2011.


In this region, as a result of the changes, 39890 people, 88 per cent of local housing allowance recipients in the region will lose out.  

Alex Cunningham MP, Member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee and Labour Member of Parliament for Stockton North said;


“The media headlines regarding the government’s plans for housing benefit have focussed on their effect on London and the South East but it’s becoming clear that this will be a change that has a big impact on low income and modest income families here in the North East.”


"Families on modest incomes in the North East will be concerned that from next year they could be £364 a year worse off because of cuts to the support they get with housing costs.


"Labour agrees that housing benefit needs to be reformed but the government should think again about these rushed and ill thought out plans."

Douglas Alexander MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:


"The Government's plans mean that 700,000 of the country's poorest people, including 88 per cent of recipients in North East will be on average £9 a week worse off with no time for individuals or landlords to adjust.


"This is a big drop in income for people struggling to make ends meet.


"The Government just doesn't seem to understand that higher homelessness, like longer dole queues make it harder not easier to deal with the deficit."



Notes to Editors


Data on losses is taken from the DWP impact assessment, published here