Harriet Harman

Labour Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham

Opposing cuts to Housing Benefit - Wednesday 13th October 2010

Since they were elected in May the Tory/Lib Dem government have planned many cuts, including cuts to Housing Benefit. In Southwark 37, 300 people rely on Housing Benefit, people are worried.

These cuts will push some of the most vulnerable people into poverty and homelessness as reduced Housing Benefit will mean some people are no longer able to pay their rent. 

Half of Southwark residents who live in private rented accommodation and claim Housing Benefit will be affected by these cuts. On average the people affected will loose £12 a week of the help they get to pay their rent, that's over £600 a year. These cuts are not necessary and they are unfair. The government must change its mind.

Last week the Tories also announced big cuts in child tax credit, working tax credit, in the baby tax credit, maternity allowance and health in pregnancy grant. They also plan to cap household benefit payments. The cap will apply to the combined income from Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Employment Support Allowance and other means-tested benefits including Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit; Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit. This is a deeply unfair attack on families.

It is better to get the economy growing faster and raise more tax from the banks than to cut support for families with children.

So much for David Cameron's promise of the most family friendly government ever: instead they are hitting hard at families and the most vulnerable.

If you live in Southwark and are concerned about the planning cuts, or want my help with any other matter you can write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or email harmanh@parliament.uk. You can also follow me on twitter harrietharman@twitter.com



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