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– Duncan-Smith reveals housing benefit “Adjustment”

Duncan-Smith reveals housing benefit “Adjustmemt”

Unemployed people will not face a 10% cut in housing benefit, it was disclosed today.  The Welfare Reform Bill, published today, was amended to ensure those out of work for more than a year will not be penalised.  The cut had been proposed by the Chancellor, George Osborne, during the government’s emergency budget in June.  The omission of this proposed sanction has been deemed the second U-Turn of the week for the government as the coalition was forced to repeal its plans to sell-off forests in England.

yesMinister sees this as evidence that the Government is really listening!

Mr. Duncan Smith explained on the Today Programme:

“You won’t see this (10% housing benefit cut) in the bill for one very good reason – the more we looked at this, the more we reviewed the interplay between that reduction at 12 months and the Universal Credit and the Work Programme, it meant that all of those people were going to move on to the Work Programme anyway, so they would be having intensive help to get them back to work.”

The Guardian has reported that the housing benefit cuts were withdrawn under the insistence of the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP, who, along with his Liberal Democrat colleague was concerned the proposal would hit the poor twice.  There were also doubts as to whether private landlords would consider renting to those claiming jobseekers allowance, a provision that would be dramatically reduced had the original government proposal gone through.  However, Mr. Duncan-Smith has refuted the suggestion that the cuts were omitted due to opposition from his coalition colleagues, stating “I am fully at one with Nick on this.”

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne commented:

“Labour has consistently called on the Tory-led government to abandon this change so we welcome their U-turn.  They need a Plan B for the economy and a bigger welfare to work programme. At the moment they have neither.”

Not sure that the opposition has much credibility in this area as many see the current abuse of the benefit system as being  caused by their very relaxed approach to welfare.


1 Comment

  1. I remain unconvinced the government is truly listening to the jobless. After all, one rain does not make a monsoon.

    Many will suffer as result of these changes and this forced CPAG to conclude: “The Treasury is wrecking the plans from the outset by enforcing funding shortfalls that will make work pay less for millions of people, scrap access to back to work support for hundreds of thousands of claimants, and slash the childcare funding that helps many parents work.”

    Not much justice in my eyes. In fact rather than listening, Cameron seems to be intentionally oblivious to opposition.

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