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Figures show South East housing benefit bill rising due to Tories' failed economic plan

New figures show the Tories’ failing plan is leading to a huge increase in housing benefit being paid to working people.

House of Commons library analysis published today has shown the number of working people claiming housing benefit is set to rise by 20 per cent, from 956,000 in 2015/16 to 1,142,000 in 2019/20, adding £1.3 billion to the housing benefit bill.

And figures published by Labour show every region in the UK has seen a huge increase in the number of working people claiming housing benefit under David Cameron since 2010.

In the South East, in work housing benefit increases are up 40 per cent on average and in some constituencies the figure is much higher. Southampton Itchen has seen a 59 per cent increase in the number of working people claiming housing benefit.

 Rowena Davis, Labour’s candidate for Southampton Itchen, responding to the new figures, said: 

“People in Southampton and across Britain simply can’t afford another five years of Conservative government.
“When wages are low and house prices are high, people struggle and the housing benefit bill goes up, as today’s figures show.
“Labour knows that Britain does well when working people do well. That’s why we want to build more affordable homes for local people, and make sure that hard work pays off. “

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves, said:

“Since 2010 David Cameron has failed to tackle low pay and high housing costs leading to a 36 per cent increase in the number of working people claiming housing benefit.

“And another five years of Tory failure to tackle high housing costs and low pay will lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of working people claiming housing benefit, costing £1.3 billion. David Cameron's failure to tackle housing benefit shows the Tory plan is failing.

“Labour has a better plan to control the housing benefit bill and tackle the root causes of rising spending; low pay and high housing costs. A Labour government will raise the national minimum wage to £8 an hour before 2020, give tax rebates to firms who pay a Living Wage and build at least 200,000 homes a year by 2020.”

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