Greens warn that Housing Benefit cuts will increase homelessness

The Green Party is warning that the coalition government’s cuts to Housing Benefit could result in increasing problems with debt and homelessness in Swansea.

A recent report published by homelessness charity Crisis (1) highlights the social risks of Housing Benefit cuts, which will affect almost 1 million households across the UK who are currently claiming, with average cuts of over £600 a year (2).

The report also warns that cuts to Housing Benefit could have hidden costs in the future, in order to deal with the social problems of homelessness, including health problems and providing accommodation.

Keith M Ross of Swansea Green Party said, “Under the government proposals someone in Swansea earning £16,000 (after tax-free allowance) and receiving Housing Benefit could lose up to £600 per year in benefit. That would be the equivalent of paying an income tax rise of over 3.5 per cent.

“These particular Tory-Lib Dem cuts will leave more people in Swansea struggling to pay the rent, more people falling into serious debt and ultimately more people becoming homeless.

“This is very unfair, coming at a time when many of these people are facing economic uncertainty or even redundancy.

“Once again we see the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition’s cuts hitting poorer people in society. The government could avoid these cuts by properly tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion perpetrated by some of the wealthiest, which could raise billions of pounds a year (3).”

Notes:

1. The report by Crisis can be found here

2. Figures from ‘New figures reveal areas hardest hit by Housing Benefit cuts, Crisis news release of 12 August 2010

3. See ‘Cuts: The Callous Con Trick‘ by Caroline Lucas et al, and Green Party news release of 19 June 2010, ‘Cuts “destructive and unnecessary” says Green Party leader

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