Since George Osborne first proposed cutting housing benefit in his emergency Budget speech, there has been huge concern across the country about the devastating implications of the cuts.
Housing benefit cuts will damage communities
The government’s proposals threaten misery, division and social cleansing on a massive scale with thousands forced into poverty or out of their homes to other parts of London. In the capital alone up to a quarter of a million private tenants receive housing benefit, and many of the half a million social tenants in London claiming housing benefit will be hit by the cuts.
We must stand together to prevent deepening divisions between the rich and poor. Government policy should encourage the development of mixed communities, not create the ghettos which scar many other cities around the world.
Last week I announced that Karen Buck MP will act as my adviser on the development of housing policy in London. Karen is one of the leading experts in Westminster on housing and benefits policy and will work with me to deliver a fairer housing policy and campaign against the cuts to housing benefit.
I am delighted Inside Housing has launched a campaign against plans to change housing benefit. I am confident that together we can defeat these proposals and avert the huge social damage they would cause.
Ken Livingstone is campaigning to become Labour candidate for the mayor of London