Over 10,000 working residents now reliant on housing benefit to pay bills
New research commissioned by Labour from the House of Commons Library has revealed a staggering fifty eight per cent increase in the number of working people in Tower Hamlets claiming housing benefit, compared with 2010 when David Cameron came to power.
That's almost 4,000 more working people in Tower Hamlets, and 400,000 across the country, claiming housing benefit every year. The research shows the increasing cost of living in the borough is far outstripping Londoner’s income with over 10,000 people now in work yet relying on benefits to top up their wages.
The 58% rise in the number of working families in receipt of benefits comes despite overall benefit claimants only increasing by 3% over the same period.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Sirajul Islam, said:
“Over ten thousand people in Tower Hamlets now rely on benefits to top up their wages, that is a total scandal. David Cameron acts tough on benefits but the truth is his policies are pushing hard working families closer to the breadline.”
Rachel Reeves MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:
"These shocking figures expose the complete failure of David Cameron's government to control rising housing benefit spending because more people are struggling pay their rent.
"Labour will tackle the rising cost-of-living by freezing gas and electricity bills and we'll make work pay by restoring the value of the national minimum wage and getting more employers to pay a living wage, ensuring more people earn enough to cover the cost of living."
Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:
“Tower hamlets like much of London is becoming an unaffordable place to live and we need urgent action to address this. Housing costs are the biggest factor and the combination of market pressure and benefit cuts is hitting many local people hard. A mayor alone cannot solve this but we can to more."