Caroline Lucas, the leader of the Green Party and MP for Brighton Pavilion, has warned that the coalition government's cuts to housing benefit could result in increasing social problems with serious debt and homelessness. Crisis estimates that Brent is one of the most seriously impacted areas in the country with 9,650 households affected.
The report also warns that cuts to housing benefit could have hidden costs in the future, in order to deal with the social problems of homelessness, including health problems and providing accommodation.
Housing benefit cut is equivalent to big increase in income tax for poorer people
Caroline Lucas MP said:
“Consider someone earning £16,000 (after tax-free allowance) and receiving housing benefit. If they lose £728 that would be the equivalent of paying an income tax rise of over 4.5 per cent.
“These particular Tory-Lib Dem cuts will leave more people struggling to pay the rent, more people falling into serious debt and ultimately more people becoming homeless.
“This is very unfair, coming at a time when many of these people are facing economic uncertainty or even redundancy.
“Once again we see the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition’s cuts hitting the poorer people in society. The government could avoid these cuts by properly tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion perpetrated by some of the wealthiest, which could raise billions of pounds a year.”