Housing benefit cuts: Study undermines government claims

From the Guardian

“Birmingham University academics have found that people on housing benefits pay similar rents to working people

 

Ministers’ claims that the housing benefit system has created “an expectation that you could live almost anywhere” have been undermined by a prominent piece of research for the Department for Work and Pensions which says there is no evidence to support the idea.

Earlier this week, housing minister Grant Shapps gave a series of interviews defending government welfare plans after a political row blew up over what Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, warned might be a “Kosovo-style social cleansing” of poor people from city centres. Shapps said: “Just because you are on housing benefit, that shouldn’t give you the ability to live somewhere where if you are working and not on benefit you can’t.”

This line of argument has been used to justify a number of draconian changes designed to force those in receipt of benefits to rely on income rather than on the state to meet their housing needs.

However, in a paper released by welfare secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s department last month, academics from Birmingham University found that people on benefits paid the same in rent as their working peers….” click for full article

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