Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Households Worse Off!

HOUSEHOLDS claiming benefit will be £1,615 a year worse off in 2015/16 as a result of the coalition government’s welfare reforms, a report has found.
The study carried out by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion and commissioned by the Local Government Association, illustrate the cumulative impact of welfare reform. The government’s reforms include an overall household benefits cap of £26,000, the ‘bedroom tax’ on tenants deemed to be underoccupying their homes, local housing allowance caps and caps to increase in benefits.
The CESI study found 60 per cent of all welfare reform reductions fall on households where somebody works.
Four out of five of households hit are likely to need some form of assistance from their council to help cope with the reduction in their welfare, due to the shortage of jobs and affordable homes.
The LGA has used the report’s findings to call for action from the government. It wants council borrowing caps to be relaxed to make it easier for local authorities to build homes. It also wants councils to have more influence over employment programmes and for a re-evaluation of discretionary housing payments, so supply better meets demand in different areas.
Sharon Taylor, chair of the finance panel at the LGA, said: ‘In many areas welfare reform is not encouraging people into work because the jobs simply don’t exist, while the opportunities for people to downsize their homes to cope with reductions in benefits are severely limited by a lack of affordable accommodation.
‘Unless more is done to create new jobs and homes, households will be pushed into financial hardship and we will see a huge rise in the number of people going to their councils asking for help to make ends meet.’ :  insidehousing.co.uk  

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