Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts?

Welfare systems need to address two different types of situation faced by working age households. They need to provide short-to-medium term support for living costs in response to labour market fluctuations and frictional unemployment; and longer term support for those who are without a market income for extended periods (in practice many households are located on a continuum between these two poles).

Welfare systems need to address two different types of situation faced by working age households. They need to provide short-to-medium term support for living costs in response to labour market fluctuations and frictional unemployment; and longer term support for those who are without a market income for extended periods (in practice many households are located on a continuum between these two poles).

The function of enabling households to manage fluctuating employment scarcely features in current debate on welfare, despite the major rise in demand-deficient unemployment and under-employment over the last two years and the further rises to be expected as a consequence of cuts to public spending.

The fall in labour demand has played out in the form of increased unemployment, reduced working hours and, importantly, the loss of one set of earnings among many dual-earning couples, and has resulted in major increases in expenditure on both out-of-work and in-work support over the last two years.

None of this is reflected in the coalition government’s rhetoric on welfare, which is carefully calibrated to suggest that long-term economic inactivity, rather than a demand-deficient labour market, is the driver of the expenditure increase.

In fact, aggregate benefits expenditure on the working-age group scarcely changed between 2000/01 and 2007/08, but rose in real terms by 20 per cent between 2007/08 and 2010/11 (Department for Work and Pensions forecast expenditure) – and this does not include the major increases in tax credit expenditure arising from falling incomes and rising unemployment.

The coalition’s cuts to housing benefit (Local Housing Allowance) in the private rented sector, the first of which are scheduled to come in in two tranches in April and October of next year, exemplify the dangers of assuming that all benefit recipients are long term economically inactive and ignoring what is happening in the labour market.

We have summarised the impact of the cuts for most local authorities in this spreadsheet (for a small number of local authorities, this data was not available). Most of the figures are taken directly from DWP’s impact assessment of the cuts, but we have also included data on an aspect not addressed by DWP, the percentage of those affected who are currently in employment (this data was released in an answer to a parliamentary question by Karen Buck MP).

The figures for those in employment are somewhat higher than might be expected for many local authorities, reflecting a steep rise in in-work housing benefit claims since 2008 as households saw their working hours reduced. Indeed, there are currently more in-work housing benefit claims than claims from people on Jobseeker’s Allowance (see below).

These figures concern the impact of all the LHA measures coming in next year taken together. (For more detail on specific measures, see this impact assessment.) Attention has understandably been focused on the effect of capping maximum payments from April 2010, which will make significant sections of the private rented sector inaccessible to households in London receiving LHA.

But the change with the biggest numerical impact in the medium term will be the move in October 2010 from setting maximum entitlements at 50 per cent of the local housing market to 30 per cent, which will lead to losses of on average £39 a month for some 775,000 households nationally (and will actually affect far more households in London than the cap).

The other main change is the abolition of the £15 incentive payment which allowed tenants to keep some of the difference between the maximum local housing allowance they were entitled to and their actual rent. While this policy seems to have been effective in incentivising tenants to look for cheaper properties (some 47% of all LHA tenants are receiving the incentive) its abolition is less controversial than the other measures as it does not threaten to force incomes below the minimum guaranteed by the benefits system.

The proposals to reduce LHA entitlement by 10% for those unemployed for more than a year and to uprate LHA by consumer price inflation are not scheduled for next year and are not included in this analysis, nor are more recent proposals concerning entitlements for single people under 35 and the ‘universal’ cap on households’ benefit entitlements.

While the government has presented these cuts in terms of a dichotomy between taxpayers and claimants, some 26% of all those affected by the cuts are in fact in employment. A further 22% are on Jobseeker’s Allowance, and the great majority of these claimants will be short-term unemployed: only 6% of JSA claims run for more than a year even under current labour market conditions. Thus nearly half of those losing out in the first instance will be people who are either working or have been working until very recently.

Pensioners account for a further 5% of those affected. Those on the so-called ‘inactive benefits’ will thus account for 47% at most of those affected by the changes, and it should not be assumed that all in this group are long term economically inactive: there is considerably more turnover on inactive benefits than the government’s rhetoric implies.

See table 1*:

Claims-affected-by-2011-12-changes-to-Local-Housing-Allowance

It is clear that while households in London will see the most severe losses, the impact will be felt in all regions, with the north west having the highest numbers of households affected after London. There is a north-south pattern in terms of the share of employed households among those affected (the blue line on the chart), with the share highest in the south east and in London.

The chart below summarises the regional picture. It is clear that while households in London will see the most severe losses, the impact will be felt in all regions, with the north west having the highest numbers of households affected after London. There is a north-south pattern in the share of employed households among those affected (the blue line on the chart), with the share highest in the south east (31%) and in London (33%).

In some local authorities the employed share is higher again: in West Oxfordshire, cited by the prime minister in yesterday’s PMQs, some 43% of those affected are in employment, the same proportion as in the London borough of Hackney. At the same time, employed households form a fifth or more of those affected in most regions, showing that in-work LHA is far from being confined to the areas with the highest rents.

See chart 1:

LHA-clients-affected-by-2011-2012-housing-benefit-cuts

Nor is there any reason to expect a fall in the numbers of households in receipt of in-work local housing allowance before the cuts come into effect, unless there is a significant recovery in labour demand. As the chart below shows, in-work housing benefit has shown an almost linear upward trend since the financial markets crash, in contrast to the unemployed (JSA) caseload which has levelled out, although it is likely to rise again with the impact of coming public sector employment cuts. (The data here concerns all HB claims, not just LHA claims.)

See chart 2:

Employed-and-unemployed-JSA-housing-benefit-claims-November-2008-July-2010

Although their impact will be severe for many households, the measures scheduled for next year need to be seen as part of a longer term planned erosion of support for private rents. After 2013 LHA rates will not be revised to reflect local rental market changes but will be uprated only with consumer price inflation. In only a few years, this measure will lead to far more drastic restrictions to the level of rents that will be supported by LHA in many areas than next year’s measures.

It cannot be expected that rents will fall proportionally to the cut to LHA entitlements, as LHA recipients form a small minority of private tenants in most areas. It has been estimated by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research that by 2018 only 5% of two-bed flats in inner central Manchester will be within the reduced LHA maximum. The claim that the coalition’s cuts package will leave 30% of properties accessible to LHA recipients applies only to next year’s changes (and only with qualification at that).

The coalition’s intention to drive all LHA claimants to the very bottom of the rental market represents a major change in social protection not just for longer term workless households but for all those who rent accommodation in the private sector and who may need to apply for out-of-work or in-work support at any point. The function of providing support to enable lower income workers to ride out temporary labour market fluctuations will be severely curtailed during a period when this support will be more needed than at any point since the 1990s.

Even a short-term fall in earnings or loss of employment will leave increasing numbers of lower income workers (those without enough in savings to tide them over) with no choice but to take a further drop in disposable income or to try to move to the cheapest available accommodation – considerably cheaper than that which lower income workers not in receipt of benefit currently access.

This point is worth emphasising as the government continues to claim that the changes will simply mean that LHA recipients will be placed in the same position as low income working households not receiving LHA, who have to adjust their accommodation choices to their incomes. In fact, LHA recipients are already in that position.

Recently published research commissioned by DWP under the previous government has shown that there are no significant differences in the average rents paid by LHA households and low income working households: the notion that LHA was allowing large numbers of families to occupy housing which they could not have afforded if they were working is essentially a myth.

The authors stated:

“If the policy objective is to set levels of HB support to the average (median) of rents paid by other similar tenants not on HB with similar characteristics, then the analysis would suggest that to a large extent this is being achieved.”

This result should come as a surprise only to those who are used to thinking of benefit recipients and workers as mutually exclusive groups. The assumption that LHA recipients would routinely trade up to the highest rent properties they could access would imply a quite implausible level of myopia on their part.

We have stressed the impact of these measures on working and short-term unemployed recipients, not because these groups will be the most severely affected – many will be better placed to ride out the changes than pensioners or long term workless households – but because despite their very large numbers they hardly feature in the current debate on welfare cuts.

That is a measure of the success of the coalition’s misdirection strategy of keeping attention focussed on those who can be presented as exemplifying the ‘undeserving poor’ – mainly, long term claimants of ‘inactive’ benefits. These figures should serve to remind all concerned that changes to the welfare system affect all those who may need support at any point in their working lives.

* n.b. The national LHA caseload figures given in the answer to PQ 12676 are higher than those in the impact assessment, which excludes a number of local authorities and which is based on the caseload as of March 2010, as opposed to May 2010 for the PQ.

The estimate of the number of employed LHA claimants in this table is based on the percentage of employed claimants in PQ 12676, applied to the impact assessment caseload, and is therefore lower than in the parliamentary answer. The estimated number and percentage of ‘others not in employment’ are based on the number for ‘others’ in the impact assessment less this estimate of those in employment.

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46 Responses to “Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts?”

  1. STUC young workers

    RT @leftfootfwd: Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts? http://bit.ly/96ouyR – analysis of who'll lose out and by how much

  2. CAROLE JONES

    Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts? http://bit.ly/96ouyR – analysis of who'll lose out and by how much

  3. Jon Patience

    RT @leftfootfwd: Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts? http://bit.ly/96ouyR – analysis of who'll lose out and by how much

  4. Shamik Das

    2day on @leftfootfwd: "Brink of bankruptcy" myth: http://is.gd/gofxb Cable latest: http://is.gd/gofzr & HB cuts analysis: http://is.gd/gofCm

  5. Anon E Mouse

    Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts?

    The greedy landlords (who actually advertise with “DSS Welcome” notices) who will simply cut their rates to whatever the highest available rate is for the tenants. This just shows how out of touch Labour currently are for not realising this.

    83000 people homeless in London is as likely as a double dip recession or Gordon Brown ending “Boom And Bust” – I see no one else seems to have noticed the criticism of Gordon Browns ineptitude in this matter in the news.

    What a surprise. Where are Liz McShane, Chris and Fat Bloke on Tour when you need them? Groupthink anyone?

  6. Shamik Das

    Alexander now struggling to defend fairness of housing benefit cap; for analysis of who'll be affected by the cut, see http://bit.ly/96ouyR

  7. Alan W

    @Anon

    Over the years I’ve gone flat-hunting in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hull, and London, and I can’t recall ever seeing an advert that said “DSS Welcome”. But I have seen loads that said “No DSS”.

  8. smiffy

    there should be some more evidence on the problems of extending the single room rate cap to those under 35. i fully remember when the single room rate for under 25’s was introduced in 1997 that young single people who were sustaing successful, but benefit dependent tenancies, suddenly found themselves under threat of eviction as they couldn’t make up the significant shortfall between the cost of modest self contained accommodation and the single room rate … How does it benefit anybody to create a situation that undermines otherwise successful and sustainable tenancies?

  9. Anon E Mouse

    Alan W – No offence intended but you may be looking for upmarket letting I guess.

    863,000 results on Google for “renting + dss”.

    After the bad back thing it’s probably the biggest scam in the book – Labour should never have allowed it to spiral out of control and the Tories should get a better spin doctor.

    No one’s going to be made homeless – the landlords will just drop their extortionate rates as they should. Why is it that their rental price is exactly what the top DSS payment?

  10. Chris

    @mousey

    “863,000 results on Google for “renting + dss”.”

    That a really evidence based, thoughtful contribution. Interestingly top of the google results is a thread full of landlords complaining about DSS recipients and how they don’t rent to them – http://bit.ly/ahtfUi

    Yet again mousey your talking unadulterated shit. Moron!

  11. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – So it’s fair that one persons minimum wage taxes pay for another to have the same housing situation yet not be working?

    What happened to Labour rewarding aspiration?

    So far we have Labour wanting to:

    1. Give child benefits to multi millionaires
    2. Give a bus pass to multi millionaires
    3. Give a free TV licence to multi millionaires
    4. Winter Fuel Allowance to people living overseas in the sun
    5. Paying £20K a year to people not working in housing benefits

    To a minimum wage worker how fair are any of the above FACTUAL comments Chris? (without the insults or foul language please… well do your best kid)

    Why didn’t you respond to my FACTUAL comment on Gordon Brown? (assuming you listen to the news and not MTV)

  12. R Omonira-Oyekanmi

    Fed up with all #housingbenefit soundbites (social cleansing,etc) and no proper policy analysis? Read this @leftfootfwd http://bit.ly/d38hxs

  13. Alan W

    @Anon

    Not that upmarket I assure you. The damn trust fund’s frozen till mumsy snuffs it.

    Besides, if the allegation is that landlords are ramping up rents simply because of HB, then presumably some these properties should be appearing in the more salubrious rental brackets.

    However, I will grant you that such adverts are out there, as I’ve seen my first ones just this afternoon. 14 positive results nationwide for flats to rent with the phrase “DSS Welcome” currently posted on Loot.

  14. Anon E Mouse

    Alan W – What they need to do is come to an agreement with say any landlord that has been renting to the same tenant for a long time to reduce the rent over a given period to whatever level that reduction should be.

    In Cardiff some of the apartments in the bay (expensive luxury gaffs) were bought by people who had bought several properties in a poorer area of the city (Canton) and converted them to really cheap flats that were rented specifically to DSS tenants and students.

    In fact the whole “Buy To Let” thing has wrecked the housing market – not all down to DSS lets I accept but the price of property in this country has got stupid and I cannot see a way back that’s all.

    Something does need to be done and whilst I accept that a person who has fallen on hard times should be helped – that’s what taxes are for -it just seems unfair to the person working to be effectively paying all his taxes, not to benefit the whole community but to pay £21000 a year for one person’s housing needs.

    By not supporting this change and demanding greedy landlords drop their rental prices, Labour looks selfish, petty and unfair. And unelectable.

  15. Roger

    From a landlord perspective ‘DSS’ tenants offer a degree of security that ‘professionals’ do not – they are much less likely to move and leave you forced to find another tenant.

    Plus they presumably have much lower expectations on quality.

    But you can hate on landlords as much as you like but they are just another bunch of capitalists who if their margin gets squeezed will take their assets elsewhere.

    And in some areas (Inner North London frex) the 50% to 30% shift will immediately reduce LHA by 25% (the average will probably be closer to 10%) – and that will have a huge impact on their margins.

    Reduce their margins and they will have three options:

    1) Sell up – triggering a major house price crash

    2) Subdivide their properties into even more units and try to increase their income that way

    3) If they don’t have a mortgage and can afford it let the building stay empty until the economy picks up again and they can get yuppie tenants again.

  16. Chris

    @moron mousey

    “So it’s fair that one persons minimum wage taxes pay for another to have the same housing situation yet not be working?”

    Yet more doublespeak from the mouth of an astroturfing Cashcroft stooge, wrapping yourself in the flag of poor man to promote polices that will benefit him the least. In reality, a NMW worker pays their taxes for their healthcare, education, social security, etc. The wealthiest 1% pay nearly a quarter of all tax receipts and the top 10% pay over half.

    “What happened to Labour rewarding aspiration?”

    How can anybody aspire to anything if they don’t have a roof over their heads. Its not going to do any kids life chances any good if they’re forced around like gypsies from one emergency shelter to another.

    “1. Give child benefits to multi millionaires”

    LOL, see the Iain Martin on the WSJ for the latest on how that plan is progressing.

    “2. Give a bus pass to multi millionaires
    3. Give a free TV licence to multi millionaires
    4. Winter Fuel Allowance to people living overseas in the sun”

    If you’ve paid you taxes all your life don’t you deserve the benefits they’ve paid yesterday’s pensioners to enjoy?

    “5. Paying £20K a year to people not working in housing benefits”

    The £400 cap is a diversion and not the most pressing issue, although the people affected are likely to be the most valuable in society. No the real problem with the housing benefit is the 20% cut in local housing allowance calculations, it reduces the number of places available and will lead to a slum belt around our big cities. Also, you conveniently forgetting that a large number of people in receipt of HB/LHA are actually in work – isn’t that what the quietman is planning to do? Making work pay?

    Oh and the 10% cut for jobseekers, that is just plain disgusting and marks a real low for the nasty party but an even lower low for the LibDems.

    “To a minimum wage worker how fair are any of the above FACTUAL comments Chris? (without the insults or foul language please… well do your best kid)”

    Oh yawn, I know your treatment isn’t progressing as well as we hoped but I thought we’d got past your habit of believing everything you think up in your tiny, anti-psychotic addled mind is true. I know you’ve refused the lobotomy but maybe you should reconsider.

    “Why didn’t you respond to my FACTUAL comment on Gordon Brown? (assuming you listen to the news and not MTV)”

    Sorry, where was your stinking idiot wind that I didn’t reply to?

  17. Redstar PCS Stoke

    RT @leftfootfwd: Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts? http://bit.ly/96ouyR – analysis of who'll lose out and by how much

  18. Wendy Maddox

    RT @leftfootfwd: Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts? http://bit.ly/96ouyR – analysis of who'll lose out and by how much

  19. philip murtagh

    Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts? | Left Foot Forward: In fact the whole “Buy To Let” thing has wr… http://bit.ly/9glLB8

  20. John Turner

    RT @leftfootfwd: Who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts? http://bit.ly/96ouyR – analysis of who'll lose out and by how much

  21. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – Considering your support for last useless government feeling comfortable with people getting “filthy rich” I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when you are happy to punish the poor – which you clearly are.

    Basically you have said it’s OK for those five items I mention – you have even defended them. Just like the other people on this blog defended the incompetent Gordon Brown while he tried to block immigration for the Gurkha’s and the 10p tax and tuition fees and on and on.

    There is not a snowball in hells chance of Labour being elected at the next election and if you, as a “useful idiot” (look that up Chris, being single you’ll have plenty of time on your hands) are representative of the Labour Party on those matters that are clearly unfair – a TV licence for the Queen ffs? – Labour may just find itself out of power for a generation.

    They played “Soul Man” when Gordon Brown spoke at the Labour Conference for goodness sake hahahahahahahaha… the man should have been lynched for his single handed destruction of Labour and people like you, if you really support the party which I doubt, should stop excusing things that are clearly wrong.

    It is wrong to give greedy landlords and multi millionaires benefits they don’t need.

    Labour should be supporting the poor in society and not the rich because it isn’t fair. End of.

  22. Chris

    @mental moron mousey

    LOL, what a pathetic and frankly moronic comment! There isn’t any relation to the actual topic in that comment, its just a lot of uninformed bullshit you’ve puked up into the comment box. Really, I’m starting to think your not a CCHQ stooge but you are actually somebody with serious mental health issues, maybe you should phone the Mind info line on 0845 766 0163 they can give you information on mental health services in your area.

    “Considering your support for last useless government feeling comfortable with people getting “filthy rich” I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when you are happy to punish the poor – which you clearly are.”

    That was the compromise of New Labour, they accepted the Thatcherite consensus on markets, pay, etc. I think they should have done more, i.e. introducing the 50p tax rate earlier, but Labour did do a lot to close the income gap its just the gap grow by so much because of massive inflation of senior executive pay. Britain was one of only three countries in the OECD to hold income inequality in check during the boom.

    “Basically you have said it’s OK for those five items I mention – you have even defended them.”

    I believe in the universality of the welfare state, you mention millionaires but there aren’t that many of them so taking their benefits away would cost more than paying them out. But once you break that universal principle behind the concept of social insurance I believe pretty soon the welfare state will become ghettoized to just those on very low incomes. It won’t help those on low and middle incomes either because they won’t get massive tax breaks from not paying very high earners benefits, the very high earners will get the tax breaks.

    “Just like the other people on this blog defended the incompetent Gordon Brown while he tried to block immigration for the Gurkha’s and the 10p tax and tuition fees and on and on.”

    Oh dear, you’ve gone totally rabid at this point, did you start foaming at the mouth again? I hope you didn’t have to be put on lock down, the padded cell has only just stopped smelling from your last dirty protest – quite clever the way you daubed it around while in a straitjacket, your breath still stinks…

    Firstly, it was Labour who 1997 gave current and future Gurkha’s immigration rights, it also seems the LibCons are going to abolish the Gurkha’s altogether so no chance of any immigration for any future Gurkha – isn’t that ironic. Second, the 10p tax was indefensible and Brown was totally wrong to do it. Third, tuition fees well Brown was actually against them but considering your a LibDem supporter you have some brass neck for bringing them up!

    “There is not a snowball in hells chance of Labour being elected at the next election and if you, as a “useful idiot” (look that up Chris, being single you’ll have plenty of time on your hands)”

    Yawn, I’d rather be single than have to go out, like you admitted previously, and chat to strange men in bars for company – hooking up with any over weight, angry, middle men lately and moaning together through the cubicle wall isn’t appealing but each to their own…

    ” are representative of the Labour Party on those matters that are clearly unfair – a TV licence for the Queen ffs? – Labour may just find itself out of power for a generation.”

    LOL, I think its rather more unfair to being paying queenie huge amounts of money simply for being born.

    “They played “Soul Man” when Gordon Brown spoke at the Labour Conference for goodness sake hahahahahahahaha… the man should have been lynched for his single handed destruction of Labour and people like you, if you really support the party which I doubt, should stop excusing things that are clearly wrong.”

    Flip-flopping again! One minute your a high tory the next you seen to be nostalgic for militant tendency.

    “It is wrong to give greedy landlords and multi millionaires benefits they don’t need.”

    In very high rent areas, rent control should be introduced and landlords taxed to pay for more social housing. Isn’t it also wrong to under-tax millionaires?

    “Labour should be supporting the poor in society and not the rich because it isn’t fair. End of.”

    Labour is supporting the poor ffs but it can’t just be a party of the poor as it would never win power to enact any policies to actually help the poor. Talking to you is like chatting to a paranoid schizophrenic with an angry fixation on Gordon Brown…

  23. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – Labour / New Labour – it’s just an excuse from you for bad behaviour. I seem to remember Labour’s current leader in the cabinet of the last government. How quickly you seem to forget Chris.

    You say “I believe in the universality of the welfare state”. Frightening.

    As it stands Chris for all your bluster, feeble excuses, smearing and rudeness my five (so far) points of unfairness stand.

    1. The minimum wage shelf stacker on nights at Tesco’s pays a proportion of their taxes to Eric Clapton for his daughter whilst he earns £750000 for 90 minutes work – also at night in the Royal Albert Hall.

    2. The Queen receives a free TV licence.

    3. Alan Sugar receives a free bus pass.

    4. People living in Spain get winter fuel allowance.

    5. People earning minimum wage should pay taxes to give to greedy landlords in housing benefit for people who don’t work.

    You can come up with a hundred excuses Chris but when you go into the election after next with these items hanging around your neck you will lose again.

    How you can claim Labour supports the poor when it chooses to reward rich people with poor peoples’ taxes is beyond me…

  24. Chris

    @mental moron mousey

    ” Labour / New Labour – it’s just an excuse from you for bad behaviour. I seem to remember Labour’s current leader in the cabinet of the last government. How quickly you seem to forget Chris.”

    Yawn, what is that supposed to mean? The party you support, the LibDems, have lied so often about so many things they actually make Blair look like an honest man.

    “You say “I believe in the universality of the welfare state”. Frightening.”

    Why?

    “1. The minimum wage shelf stacker on nights at Tesco’s pays a proportion of their taxes to Eric Clapton for his daughter whilst he earns £750000 for 90 minutes work – also at night in the Royal Albert Hall.”

    No the NMW shelf stacker pays his tax and stamp for his NHS, education, social security. Eric Clapton subsidizes him and thousands of others like him, just look at America where the wealthy are under-taxed and the poor and middle income families are on their own when it goes tits up.

    “2. The Queen receives a free TV licence.”

    She also receives shit loads of tax payers money for being born.

    “3. Alan Sugar receives a free bus pass.”

    He has, I assume, paid his taxes and stamp – how much money would it cost to means test the free bus pass? How often does Sugar use his bus pass?

    “4. People living in Spain get winter fuel allowance.”

    They’ve paid their taxes and stamp all their lives, aren’t they entitled to the benefits they paid for others to enjoy. How much would it cost to means test or check for ex-pats? How many poor, old and dozy pensioners would realise they could claim WFA if you had to fill out a form, etc, etc.

    “5. People earning minimum wage should pay taxes to give to greedy landlords in housing benefit for people who don’t work”

    So, what you suggestion is we kick out all the tenants and force them into emergency shelter, barrel of laughs they ain’t, and in the process spend more money on emergency shelter than on HB. Also, your forgetting (again?) that many HB claimants are actually in work, only 1 in 8 HB claimants are actually unemployed the rest are employed, sick, disabled or caring.

    The future? http://bit.ly/bAzJvP

    “How you can claim Labour supports the poor when it chooses to reward rich people with poor peoples’ taxes is beyond me…”

    LOL, its a clever line that CCHQ are disseminating, the poor are subsidizing the rich. How do we solve this? Means test everything then cut taxes for the rich, we all know how that ends up – Dickensian squalor!

    Now go play in the traffic.

  25. Tom Smith

    We’ve had a look at the likely impact in terms of the proportion of Housing Benefit claimants affected. Our analysis suggests that the changes to housing benefit are likely to affect a higher proportion of claimants in seaside towns such as Blackpool, Brighton and Bournemouth, due to the large proportion of claimants in more expensive private sector accommodation. However, those central London claimants who are affected by the reforms will face the biggest impact on costs.

    See our blog article for detail, at http://www.ocsi.co.uk/news/2010/10/29/seaside-towns-also-hit-hard-by-housing-benefit-reform/.

  26. Look Left – Opposition grows to coalition's unfair housing benefit cuts | Left Foot Forward

    […] Left Foot Forward, we have looked in detail at what the proposals will mean, with Declan Gaffney explaining how the changes to the welfare system will “affect all those who may need support at any […]

  27. Phillip Blond

    An interesting take that argues the recent rise in HB spend is a result of the downturn not the economically inactive http://bit.ly/9RvJ4b

  28. Anna Hedge

    RT @Phillip_Blond: An interesting take that argues the recent rise in HB spend is a result of the downturn not the economically inactive http://bit.ly/9RvJ4b

  29. Anna Hedge

    RT @leftfootfwd:Who will be affected by the HB cuts? http://bit.ly/d38hxs |Blond calls this an 'interesting take'-I'd call it obvious,myself

  30. paulstpancras

    RT @langtry_girl: RT @leftfootfwd:Who will be affected by the HB cuts? http://bit.ly/d38hxs |Blond calls this an 'interesting take'-I'd …

  31. Theodor Adorno

    RT @langtry_girl @leftfootfwd:Who will be affected by HB cuts? http://bit.ly/d38hxs

  32. Alison Gelder

    RT @Phillip_Blond: An interesting take that argues the recent rise in HB spend is a result of the downturn not the economically inactive http://bit.ly/9RvJ4b

  33. Lewis Baston

    RT @Phillip_Blond: An interesting take that argues the recent rise in HB spend is a result of the downturn not the economically inactive http://bit.ly/9RvJ4b

  34. Lisa Ansell

    Single parents will be overrepresented in there- because housing benefit is often paid when you are paying childcare. Add £500 a month to average rent anywhere, and you see why single parents are overrepresented. For the period where your children are small- it costs money to go to work- and housing benefit recognised that- now the link between working is broken. As is the link between not working and surviving.

    If you can’t work. You can’t not work. You can’t move because the cut applies to 30% of LOCAL rents- what are you to do? The government already knows that LHA is topped up out of the benefit level incomes that people are left with, in order to be entitled to housing benefit.

    I can’t believe what is happening to me and my friends.

  35. Lisa Ansell

    Except we are not supposed to say it’s happening to us, or point out that if you are working for months and years, knowing that you will never get to keep more of your wage than benefit level income- is just propaganda from the left. Sitting knowing that becauzse you have a child, you wont earn what you need to be out of the housing benefit system and the one think that allowed you to keep working is gone? So you get the opportunity to move further away from public transport links, further away from the people who back you up- and help you manage your childcare. Moved away from your job, or any chance of getting one. And Nick CLegg is offended by the term ‘social cleansing’. I’m sorry the housing market inflated- it excluded me too- hence renting.

  36. Pauline Hammerton

    RT @TW_Adorno: RT @langtry_girl @leftfootfwd:Who will be affected by HB cuts? http://bit.ly/d38hxs

  37. Jeremy Swain

    RT @Phillip_Blond: An interesting take that argues the recent rise in HB spend is a result of the downturn not the economically inactive http://bit.ly/9RvJ4b

  38. Roger Houghton

    There’s also the impact of cuts in Mortgage Interest support – which was reduced by over 40% last month. The majority of recipients are either sick/disabled or pensioners.

  39. Little Richardjohn

    The tie to market rents effectively privatises social housing. And as a bonus, rots democracy even more.

  40. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – So once again aside from your usual incoherent childish ranting, we have exactly the same answer as before. You are at least consistent.

    Due to your unintelligent approach to the Labour Party accepting whatever they tell you from the top, you are prepared to make excuses to try to justify my 5 (so far) points.

    Once again you think it is fair that:

    1. The minimum wage shelf stacker on nights at Tesco’s pays a proportion of their taxes to Eric Clapton for his daughter whilst he earns £750000 for 90 minutes work – also at night in the Royal Albert Hall.

    2. The Queen receives a free TV licence.

    3. Alan Sugar receives a free bus pass.

    4. People living in Spain get winter fuel allowance.

    5. People earning minimum wage should pay taxes to give to greedy landlords in housing benefit for people who don’t work.

    What is particularly worrying (aside from your slavish support for the very policies the electorate just rejected so comprehensively) is that I believe you really don’t see why my five items are so unfair. So New Labour Chris.

    Well the electorate will reject this unfairness Chris I can assure you. Go into the next election, which I accept Labour won’t win, espousing those unfair views and you will receive an even worse beating than last time and that’s saying something…

  41. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – None of your answers to the above points was anything more than an excuse for unfairness and as for your concluding “Dickensian squalor!” remark I’ll treat it with the contempt it deserves.

    Grow up Chris and remember what you’ve been told about your obsessive and compulsive nature – it makes people feel uneasy you know…

  42. IDS' housing benefit u-turn masks full horror of reforms | Left Foot Forward

    […] by Declan Gaffney for Left Foot Forward and used by the Observer showed that: “the change with the biggest numerical impact in the […]

  43. Declan Gaffney

    @tianran Nor will lots with working parents. 43% of those affected by LHA cuts in Hackney are working http://t.co/IFQn229

  44. Declan Gaffney

    @BendyGirl @Claire_Phipps @crisis_uk As of 2010, 26% affected by cuts to LHA (HB for private rent) were in employment. http://t.co/EpV8ypXT

  45. Claire Phipps

    @BendyGirl @Claire_Phipps @crisis_uk As of 2010, 26% affected by cuts to LHA (HB for private rent) were in employment. http://t.co/EpV8ypXT

  46. Declan Gaffney

    @Chris_Goulden @pjpcfp this is from 2010 http://t.co/EpV40PWZ but has data from PMQ on employed affected by LHA cuts from a PQ.

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