New research from the House of Commons Library has revealed a staggering sixty per cent increase in working people claiming housing benefit, compared with 2010. That’s 400,000 more working people claiming housing benefit every year. The research shows that this will cost the taxpayer an estimated extra £4.8bn in housing benefit over the course of this Parliament.
Commenting on these new figures Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, said:
“These shocking new figures are clear evidence are clear evidence that this Tory-led Government is incapable of getting the housing benefit bill under control. The rhetoric may be tough, but the facts simply don’t back it up.
“But the main reason that these figures are so stark is because it is the huge increase is amongst people who are actually in work and, due to the cost-of-living crisis, their wages are failing to cover their rent.
“Both local authorities in my constituency [Middlesbrough Borough Council and Redcar and Cleveland] have seen an increase in the number of people in work claiming housing benefit. I strongly suspect that many of the people included in these figures will be struggling to get by on zero hours contracts or unable to get the hours they want.
“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.”