More People Poor Than Ever Before As Numbers Claiming Housing Benefit Hit Record Levels

housing-benefit-recipientsThe number of people claiming some form of Housing Benefit has hit record levels giving a true indicator of plummeting living standards and high unemployment.

Housing Benefit (now called Local Housing Allowance) is paid to those in and out of work alike, as well as low income pensioners, those on sickness or disability benefits and lone parents.  In London it has recently been estimated that 44% of housing benefit claimants are in work but on wages which leave them unable to afford to pay the rent .  The only factor taken into account when assessing claims are income and savings, meaning that the number of people on housing benefit gives a good indication of how many people are poor in the UK.

And despite Tory lies about a million new jobs being created, the sad truth is that more people are poor than ever before.  Recently released statistics (PDF)  show that in February 2013 there were 5.08 million recipients of Housing Benefit, up from 4.74 million in May 2010 when this Government weren’t elected.  This is the highest figure since Housing Benefit was introduced in 1983.

The truth is that any job creation which might have taken place has been workfare, low income self-employment, zero hours contracts or part time work, leaving unprecedented numbers of people dependent on some benefits to survive.

The figures also reveal that despite endless propaganda about benefit claimants living in tax payer funded mansions, the average housing benefit entitlement is just £89.30 a week.

Around a quarter of housing benefit recipients are pensioners, a figure which has stayed fairly stable over recent years.  Pensioners are exempt from the recent vicious cuts to housing benefit, however 4 million claimants under pensionable age now face this vital benefit being cut due to the bedroom tax, benefit tax, benefit uprating bill and other measures.

Some of those people will be left with just a few pounds a week after paying the rent, whilst others will be driven from their homes completely.  Almost every working age Housing Benefit claimant has been affected by the cuts.  This means that not only are there more poor people than ever before, but that 4 million of them are now at very real risk of homelessness as incomes shrink and rent rises.  A recent DWP report revealed how many landlords are in the process of evicting housing benefit claimants due to the cuts.

Iain Duncan Smith  boasted over the weekend that he is prepared to make even further cuts to housing benefits, once again raising the spectre of ending the benefit completely for those under 25.  Homelessness is already soaring and the Secretary of State is determined to make the problem even worse.  The UK could look like a very different place in just a few years time as vast numbers of people lose their homes.  The responsibility for that will not just lie with George Osborne and his fucked economy, but with Iain Duncan Smith’s reckless, bodged and brutal attempts at social security reform.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

118 responses to “More People Poor Than Ever Before As Numbers Claiming Housing Benefit Hit Record Levels

  1. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  2. A walk down many high streets supports this piece. Empty shops, here today gone shortly temporary shops, descimated markets. Local economies stiffled. Food banks appearing.All speak elloquently of misery, abject poverty, and no cash to spend. Having work is no guarant

    ee of affording to buy children’s shoes clothes and educational visits.

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  4. IDS knows his days are numbered because of the endless stream of well-publicised problems coming from the DWP. When he says he’ll cut benefits even further he’s pleading for his job, telling Osborne he’ll be a good boy if they let him stay. They won’t.

  5. @Johnny void Hi so what is this service charge that tenants have to pay landlords under the universal credit crap? I posted the PDF about it on yr previous blog

    • chewie.
      i haven’t trawled through the whole doc…but it seems to be the exterior maintenance of buildings etc, service charges..as in blocks of flats etc…

    • Its the same as the current service charges charged, but put into the context of UC (although there might be some changes of what is/is not allowed) from a brief look, a summary would be…
      “we can only cope with a single rent figure, add allowed charges to your rent figure so we can input one figure into the system (as we fucked up and didn’t think about additional allowed charges when we designed the system)”
      Basically its maintenance/appliances/communal areas cleaning/water(if part of the rent charge)/etc.

      As an aside, a studious landlord would be able to heap many additional charges that they currently don’t include (as they don’t charge for it, or its already hidden in the rent) as new charges to boost the overall rental figure and increase profits… eg, the rent (say 200PW) already includes general maintenance/repairs/etc as it was factored in, by now listing these as individual items on paper work (maintenance 10PW, communal areas cleaning (30PW) and adding them to the un-changed rental figure the landlord can now get 240PW, kerching!

  6. From ‘The Body Economic’ by David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu :
    “Austerity’s advocates have ignored evidence of the health and economic consequences of their recommendations.
    Ultimately austerity has failed because it is unsupported by sound logic or data.It is an economic ideology.It does great harm-punishing the most vulnerable,rather than those who caused this recession.”
    Read this book and recommend it;it blows apart all the lies peddled by the ConDems and their fellow shock doctrinites.

  7. Universal Credit is crashing and burning as I type these words. It’s finished in all by bullshit. I would imagine that IDS will be willing to strike any kind of a deal with the Devil to try to keep this project going, unable to accept defeat or that his legacy will be one of incalculable failure.

    Surely though if Iain Duncan Smith really did try to cut housing benefit to the under 25s or limit child benefit to the first two children in families the Liberal Democrats would be up in arms; it would spell the end of the Coalition, surely, and possibly even trigger a general election if the Tories pushed it to the limit?

  8. “Unemployed Texans will now have to pass drug screening to get benefits”

    http://now.msn.com/texas-oks-drug-tests-for-unemployment-benefits-but-not-welfare

    • The Tories would love to introduce that here, forcing unemployed men to get their equipment out to piss in a jar in front of everyone and forcing unemployed women to squat over a jar in the middle of the sanction centre to give their urine sample.

      • @R33 i see jeremy hunt has backed down over capping GP appointments he said its never been tory policy to do so..which is not true… he says on twitter that 38 degrees who set up petition to stop it isnt neutral.. yeah i know that ‘hard left’ organisation that sky news called them which is ironice seeing that jezza hunt is a murdoch placeman..

        • Just a temporary tactical retreat like the “listening exercise” scam Lansley and Cameron used. They’ll soon try to bring it in again.

          • @R33 the reason they floated was really to screw up Atos WCA appeals..GPs were already worried about this happening and said so, lets not forget that by cutting down GP visits less people will use the NHS thus making sure richard branson and the privates can cherry pick the easier patients to treat.thus saving them money..

  9. there is virtually no local economies left….some still exist…where value can be added to local produce…and the local area has other attractors..and intrinsic wealth within the area to sustain the local economy..say in the off peak…the overall picture is bleak, to say the least..and the resultant loss of income..causes unemployment and incomes to plummet…the moral poor have been left to pick up the tab…of disastrous and deliberate policies..inflicted on the working class, moral poor..and in particular 1979>and more and more people are forced to reach for their entitlements of benefits…this government, as recent successive govts..continue to put all of their eggs in one basket…and local economies mainly collapse….madness..ness, means head land…they are cuckoos…

    • ps unemployment soars…instead of rent caps…rents soar, as greedy landlords capitalize on the fear of becoming homeless…rents, one of the many new, immoral investment pigs…to squeeze out every last drop of blood, from tenants…then new tenants moved in…there is a great need for a social housing revolution i britain..low cost affordable self build…pigs will fly!

  10. Disgusting excuse for a human being, proof if any was needed that being rich does not equal intelligence, Fat cow needs to take a long look in a mirror. – http://dailycurrant.com/2013/05/28/gina-rinehart-calls-for-sterilization-of-the-poor/

  11. @donkey @jonathan wilson yeah a neat way to charge what the feck they can get away with.. a bit like my housing association landlords who have never given me a written reply about what ”service charges” are..unless the they mean the laundry room which was out of action for 6 months because it was deemed DANGEROUS!! but they happily still charged us for it….
    btw way in that PDF i was amused by the ”exempt from service charge” if you occupy a TENT !!!!!!….

  12. “I don’t agree with the socialist thing where they praise everything rather than praising hard work. I’m proud that we are now represented by David Cameron rather than Gordon Brown. I voted for him.” – Woolwich attack “hero” Ingrid Loyau-Kennett

    Unfortunately too many people in this country agree with and wholeheartedly support what the fascists are doing to us and would love to see them go much further.

    • r33
      martin niemoller…”first they come for the socialists..i was not a socialist, so i did out speak out………”

    • …until someone they love, possibly even themselves, become sick, unemployed, etc. Then they’ll soon change their tune. Trouble is, by then it may be too late to turn back the tide. The UK is fast becoming a fertile ground for a fascist party to come along and exploit. Let’s hope UKIP isn’t that party! Especially if they run a future coalition with the Tories!
      And re: johnny void’s last bit about “The responsibility for that will not just lie with George Osborne and his fucked economy, but with IDS’s reckless, bodged and brutal attempts at social security reform”, to that you could add “and with Lord Fraud, who changed the relationship between Claimant and State to an adversarial one in his days with New Labour before he jumped ship to the Tories (a logical progression if ever there was one!)”. Or have I got him wrong? Did it start before him?

    • @R33 heres a question ..why is our ingrid telling us this?? or should i ask why is what she thinks of scameron being reported….weird huh? that same ingrid who studied modern languages on her way to looking for work ”in london” and MI5 who just happen to recruit people good at languages…

    • @R33 “I don’t agree with the socialist thing where they praise everything rather than praising hard work. I’m proud that we are now represented by David Cameron rather than Gordon Brown. I voted for him.” – Woolwich attack “hero” Ingrid Loyau-Kennett

      hmm and there was me in past few days noticing this ‘welfare claimants are terrorists’ rhetoric….

    • All the more reason to suspect that it was a hoax, only a tory “plant” would come out with such garbage.

  13. Disaster looms…

  14. the reason people may agree with the con/dems policies is because they are not fully aware of the facts just the lies they spout, but IBS will have to appear in front of a committee soon because of this and i for one cannot wait. .people are not claiming benefits because they do so well on them because they don’t they are claiming because there are no jobs but then being punished because of it .if you count the unemployed and those on in work benefits it comes to near 10 million households receiving some sort of state help what does that tell you about this country ,there are no jobs and what jobs are there they are low paid making it necessary
    for people to claim benefits be able to afford to live . i have always voted conservative but this government has not got a clue they hare they are allowing global companies to pay the minimum tax the bankers keep huge bonuses and the government are taking a huge wage increase while hitting the poor over and over while there priorities are gay marriage and the EU most people are worrying where there next meal is coming from no i wont be voting conservative they stand for nothing i believe in

    • Lisers,
      your right some people are not fully aware of the facts, they believe everything this govt tells them, perfect example is I was admitted to hospital over the weekend, vomiting up blood, (stress related) due to my recent diagnosis of a tumour on my pancreas, am awaiting major surgery, to have it removed, when I explained to the doctors & nurses who were treating me, that on the day of my diagnosis, 15th may, I arrived home to find a letter from my HA informing me that they are starting court proceedings from the 17th June, to evict me from my home of 25 years, because I am in arrears, I cannot afford to pay my bedroom tax, doctors & nurses I spoke to were shocked to say the least,
      some of the female patients in the same bay with me, could not believe, that I have to pay £22 per week, most of them thought that amount was a months payment.

      • @pat as if the bloody govt give a shit you poor sod. ….

        • your right pat most people are not fully aware of the facts but you will find a lot of the haves dont care about the have nots and that includes most MPs

        • thanks bob, i missed your comments while you went awol for a short while.

          • @pat i got the hump..thats all…and i needed a break really also i post on other matters just as serious as this..btw we had the police where i live recently that wasnt fun either six coppers and an ambulance..i’m also struggling a lot with me trying to move home as that is twisting and turning ..

      • The last thing you need is this type of stress & the other patients’ belief that your bedroom tax was £22 a month instead of that sum a week shows that the goverments propaganda is working. Maybe now they they might take a dimmer view of this odious charge & that there is no allowance for individual circumstances.
        Look after yourself , Pat, don’t let the buggers get you down

        • thank you kittycat for your kind words, i got a phone call today from our tenants community centre, great bunch of people who run it, they have set up their own food bank to help people in need, affected by the bedroom tax in our local community, they have included me to receive food parcels, i was in tears with gratitude from them, we have a wonderful community spirit in my area, this Govt should hold their heads in shame that it has come to this in the 21st century.

          • You’re welcome, Pat, & yes it’s an absolute scandal that in this day & age some households have to receive food parcels. The goverment should be ashamed of themselves, which as we all know, they’re not

            • …but it’s ok cos Ed Davey (energy secretary) says that it is “completely wrong to suggest there is some sort of statistical link between the benefit reforms we’re making and the provision of food banks”. Well, that’s me convinced!

              • @timfrom me too after all who needs to eat anyway..i heard theres plans afoot to pump vitamins into the air so we wont need to waste time eating , however tesco were concerned it would affect food sales until they realised they could sell tesco own brand ‘healthy option oxygen’ in cans.

            • @kittycat especially the trussel trust foodbanks all set up to make money..blimey they even pay proper wages to employees especially sales assistants begging the question ‘where does all the money go?’

          • @pat hang in their mate …your amongts friends here and it nice to see people help out when we are suffering….keep it going pat…

  15. Landless Peasant

    The Tory MANIACS are doing more damage to this country than Hitler ever dreamed of. How much longer before the Police and Army take our side, and this unelected Tory Dictatorship is removed by force?

  16. On the 1 million new private sector jobs claim, creative accountancy has played an important part: outsourced public sector jobs. Further education and sixth form colleges were reclassified thus creating 200,000 private sector jobs. Magic! For more info go to 15th minute of the following BBC radio programme:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sdw2d

  17. Landless Peasant

    And as if the Tory PSYCHOPATHS are not enough, we now have a new enemy to battle: Blue Labour:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22625849

    So who the fuck is this Class Traitor Lord Glasman, and why does he hate the poor? Whatever his motives, one thing is certain, because of cunts like him I WON’T BE VOTING LABOUR.

  18. Rosemarie Harris

    If every one voted at elections we might not be in this state, but who do we vote for now? Most of these policys were Labour ones, Ukip don’t like the unemployed and we would have to look further into their belifs. do we vote for more of these? Because that’s what’s left.
    The Green party are going to cost people like me a fortune i can’t afford to put the heating on now, i don’t have a car,i cycle everywhere i can but i can’t see me voting green. So unless another party comes along with a real comittment for the people then it’s going to be a long and cold century!

  19. When this disgusting right-wing coalition is eventually kicked out, Osborne, Duncan-Smith, Clegg, Cameron, Hunt et al should be put on trial.

    • Landless Peasant

      They certainly should, just like the Nazis at Nuremberg, but they won’t because if you take a closer look at what’s probably coming from the next Labour government you’ll see they’re all in it together. Blue Labour conservative (with a small ‘c’) Socialism of Lord Glasman, Liam Byrne, Jon Cruddas, is also about destroying Welfare and in fact, the State’s role in civil life altogether, by the looks of it. I reckon Freud really works for this lot too, they’re all batting for the same side.

  20. Roll on Sept 2014, when Scotland can escape the worst of these idiot policies,and elect a government that we vote for,at least if we make a arse of things,we decided to do so ourselves.

    • …and condemn those south of the border to Tory governments for eternity! Thanks a bunch, ya selfish, vindictive bastards!

      • timform…you are welcome!

        • You from Scotland, too? I’ll let you off as a)my dad lives there and b) you provided me with that Lucy Reynolds video (above), which I will look at when I get 1hr 15mins spare. I use the library computers (if I had one at home I’d probably never leave the house!) and we only get an hour per day and after dealing with my in-box there’s precious little time left over, so I’ll get back to you when I’ve watched it in about 5 instalments! Thanks, too, for turning me on to The People’s Assembly. Are they going to be fielding candidates at the next election? Hope so as they look like just about the only lefty hope on the political horizon right now…

        • @donkey and all in the indie recently premier inn being used to house people..plus more mention of shippimg containers being used to house people..in fact borne out by my sw who has seen shipping containers being put to this exact use in areas such as elephant and castle…

  21. @kittycat sctually Her son basil has a middle rastern sounding name quite long too.

  22. Murray

    Can Scotland move it’s borders to include the North East, I would rather be part of Scotland than Southern England.

  23. overburdendonkey

    Thanks for that, i never knew about the peoples assembly in my area, whether peoples objections to austerity cuts is translated in government policy that will be of any benefit remains to be seen. Spending government money on getting people into work only reduces welfare spending not government spending overall ,which will probably be increased – swings and roundabouts again.

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  25. I am 27 and work full-time. I would not object to housing benefit being removed from under-25s, since this will reduce state-funded pressure on the private letting market, in turn reducing rents for people like me.

  26. Pingback: Number of People on Workfare Hits Record High | the void

  27. Pingback: Bare-faced Lies, Bluff and Bullshit Are All Iain Duncan Smith Has Left As Millions Suffer | the void

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