Wednesday, 04 March 2015

Rise in working housing benefit claimants

The number of employed people claiming housing benefit has increased again - despite a drop in the overall number of claimants.

Figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions yesterday revealed that as of April this year there were 5,012,000 housing benefit claimants in Britain. This is a slight drop, of just under 2,000, on the figure for March.

Despite the decrease, the figure for in-work claimants increased by 8,160 to 891,050.

The rise continues a trend of employed people making up a greater proportion of housing benefit claimants. The proportion of housing benefit claimants in work now stands at 17.8 per cent, compared to 12.6 per cent in January 2010.

The vast majority of new claims made between January 2010 and March 2012, 297,160 out of 363,550, were made by employed people.

David Cameron was slammed by senior housing sector figures last month for making a distinction between those who work and do not claim housing benefit with those who are unemployed and do.  The prime minister floated the idea of scrapping housing benefit for under 25 year olds.

Readers' comments (19)

  • low wage + rising rents = increased HB. Simples

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  • I don't know. All these lazy people going out to work and claiming benefits too. Why don't they get more jobs the lazy scroungers. Also why don't they negotiate lower rent with their philanthropic private landlords who are busily working once a month collecting their rents. Cameron needs to do something about these lazy money grabbers......................

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  • Christopher Dale

    And still this Government persist in believing the PRS will solve the housing crisis. It's high time they woke up and smelt what they're shovelling.

    At least it's another nail in the coffin for Cameron's argument about HB claimants being parasites and leeches. He could do something sensible like regulate PRS rents, but that would never do now would it David? Can't have all those 'entrepreuner' private landlords losing their HB gravy train can we?

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  • Rick Campbell

    "Making work pay" --- oxymoronic.

    "Caring Conservatism" --- oxymoronic.

    Succinct enough?

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  • Christopher Dale

    Sorry Rick, not succint enough:

    Conservatism = moronic

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  • Rick Campbell

    ^^^ like ^^^

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  • Chris

    Even if all of the unemployed were in rented housing and claiming housing benefit (which they are not as home owners are equally able to lose their jobs as tenants) less than 50% of housing benefit claimants could statistically be unemployed. With 17% in work that means 1/3 of all housing benefit claimants are either elderly, vulnerable, or both.

    The cuts in housing benefit and vindictive initiatives such as the bedroom tax will be causing massive concern amongst the most vulnerable in our communities. The government repeats that such people are excluded from their social purge, but when have their promises been kept – for instance that their new policies would not affect existing tenants or harm families?

    The elderly can remember what life under private landlords was like – a cold damp room in a rotting tenement without any rights nor security – and so remember what social housing was invented to overcome. True, many modern private landlords provide sound decent homes that reflect the price charged (see PSLs I am not demonising you) – but these are not the homes benefit claimants will be permitted to afford. Remember Shapps saying ‘these people should not be allowed to afford to live in the same communities as decent folk’ or words to that effect.

    The hard working people are carrying the brunt of the cuts and austerity measures that are profiting the real something for nothing crowd at the top of the pile. Cameron, with his fingers in every dodgy deal, from corrupt press chiefs through to money laundering bankers, he employs them all as his closest advisors or keeps them as his closest friends, aids and funders. He then has the cheek to insult the honest upstanding people of Britain simply for the crime of being poor. If a foreign national head was so embroiled in illegality, immorality, and attacks on his own people, Cameron would be leading the charge for the despot to be disposed of. Where is our international champion who will save us from this demonising bully?

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  • Tory formula for "making work pay"= cut minimum wage, tax breaks for millionaires, awards for incompetant bankers & CEO's

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  • Melvin Bone

    This is hardly surprising as people on HB are often in and out of work and still able to claim some amount of HB.

    If more people working are claiming HB than people not working it's (oddly) a sign of success.

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  • We are in a recession. If someone looses their job and gets a part-time one. Could n't that be happenening?

    Also, my understanding is that people who now work up to 24 hours per week can get benefits rather then the previous 16 hours?

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