London councils challenged on excuses for moving families on benefits

  • Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show over 80% of every housing benefit claim is for less than £100 per week.

    Councils are having to relocate families to other areas due to high housing costs, but only 5 families are claiming over £100,000 a year.

    Councils in London have admitted to moving families needing accomodation outside of the capital due to to the cost and strain on rescources. Families are being moved to cheaper locations, and councils have said it would be impossible to meet their homelessness duties in London.

    Newham London Borough Council first had the controversial plans to export benefit dependent families to cheaper areas of the country such as Stoke-on-Trent, and was described by critics as ‘social cleansing'. Newham LBC had written to more than 1,000 social housing providers to secure alternative accommodation for households it claims have been priced out of the capital by coalition caps on housing benefits.

    The figures from Full Fact are challenging claims that they are forced to relocate families to other areas due to the high cost, as the vast majority of claimants receive £100 or less per week.

    Based on the report, families claiming £100,000 a year account for only 0.001% of the total and the report from Full Fact said that the reason behind these higher claims is because they are for larger families.
    They said:

    While the evidence suggests that there are a small number of Housing Benefit claimants who pocket more than £100,000 per year - perhaps around five - these cases are very much the exception rather than the rule.

    Focusing exclusively on these outliers without first putting them into context, where over 80% of claims are below £100 per week, could distort the debate around this important topic.




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