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Labour to call opposition day vote on LHA cap

Labour will call a vote in parliament next week on halting plans to cap housing benefit at Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels in supported housing.

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Labour to call opposition day vote on LHA cap

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Days after winning a symbolic vote on pausing Universal Credit by 299 to zero, Labour has secured a second opposition day debate on supported housing and the LHA cap.

It will seek to pass a motion calling for a halt to the cap which would leave tenants of supported housing schemes with huge shortfalls between their benefit entitlement and rent.


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The government has promised to provide local authorities with cash for top-up funding to cover the shortfall, but providers have repeatedly warned the lack of certainty is stymying development and could lead schemes to close.

John Healey, shadow secretary of state for housing, said: “The government’s defeat on Universal Credit shows that parliament is determined to hold this Conservative government to account for its policy failings.

“On Wednesday Labour will call on the government to drop plans for crude cuts which will close vital supported housing for thousands of vulnerable people including the homeless, elderly people with dementia, veterans and women fleeing domestic violence. We want to give MPs of all parties the chance to challenge ministers to change course.”

Last week, Labour pushed for a vote on pausing Universal Credit which prompted the Conservatives to whip their MPs to abstain, rather than face an embarrassing defeat.

This tactic prompted an upbraiding from the speaker and members of their own benches and it remains unclear whether the party will seek to defend this next motion.

Motions proposed on opposition day are not binding on government. Labour’s motion will propose axing the policy for supported and sheltered housing tenants only.

A Labour party source said there is thought to be “major concern” about the policy among some Tory and Democratic Unionist Party MPs.

Mr Healey will open the debate while shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams will close it.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has been contacted for comment.

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