(Housing) Benefit Cleansing of London since May 2010 Election – Why it costs every taxpayer more!

Look no further than the official Housing Benefit data published by the DWP to see the HB diaspora from Inner to Outer London.  This is a classic example of how the Tory welfare policies fail as they cost more to the taxpayer

The welfare reform (sic) policies of the Conservatives has seen tenants on housing benefit moved from Inner London to Outer London in huge numbers.

Inner London – % Change in housing benefit claimants

hb-innerlondon clamaint count may 10 feb 15


There is a significant reduction in those claiming housing benefit in almost all areas of Inner London Councils under the Tories.

Now compare that to the picture in Outer London Councils.

hb outer london may 10 to feb 15

Notice the difference?

With the exception of one council, every other Outer London Council has experienced significant increases in those claiming housing benefit.

The national picture is an increase of just 2.81% Compare that to Barnet at a 17.05% increase and 4,428 more HB claimants which is 7,876 more claimants there alone than the entire Inner London figure!

In numbers there are less housing benefit claimants in Inner London Councils which cannot be explained by some upsurge in the economy as the Tories would like to claim.  There are 30,478 more claimants in Outer London and in many places across the South East, which the Tories would say are booming, many other Councils see more than double the national increase of 2.81% in those claiming HB.

Some examples include:

Essex – Tendring up 10.88% and Castle Point up 7.1%

Surrey – Tandridge up 15.24% and Reigate up 9.31%

Kent – Ashford up 11.13% and Maidstone 8.63%

Hants – Rushmoor up 17.89% and Hart 9.7%

East Sussex – Wealden up 8.8% and Lewes up 7.8%

West Sussex – Arun up 9.12%

And further afield yet near enough before the Nzolameso case last month prevents this HB diaspora we see Reading up 8.6% and Luton up 8.42% and Aylesbury up 10.9%.

What all of the above areas have in common is that they have a higher proportion of private tenants in receipt of housing benefit than the national average which evidences the Tory policy of homeless discharge of duty into the private rented sector.

The national average split of housing benefit claimants is 67% in social housing and 33% in private rented yet Tendring has 66% of all housing benefit claimants in private renting; Castle Point 64%; Arun 54%; Lewes 49%; Wealden 45%; Luton, Rushmoor and Reading all have 43% of all housing benefit claimants being in the private rented sector.

This is the HB diaspora in action as I predicted and it is far more than just a moral issue over cleansing, albeit an horrific one.  All of the above Councils face greater pressures on their costs in education right down to refuse collection, that is in all local authority areas of activity.  Greater costs and pressures on the NHS, the Police and the Fire Services in these areas too and all done in the name of politics and back of a fag packet policies.

The overall housing benefit bill despite the bedroom tax, benefit cap, LHA cap and SAR cap and despite this enforced movement of tenants to cheaper rent areas has seen the national HB bill INCREASE by £440 million per year and in real terms too.

That puts more cost of every single taxpayer nationally and in the areas above more cost on the local taxpayer and reduced local services because of the influx of housing benefit claimants there.  Because central government will cap necessary council tax increases to cope with this it means the highest increases possible which also means reduced local council services – another way to look at that and correctly look at that is the Tories blaming local government for central government policy.

The above encapsulates Tory benefit policy as back of a fag packet superficiality.  Those on the left of politics (should that exist anymore?) are appalled at the individual human suffering of families being uprooted which also irreparably damages the educational and other life chances of children.  Those on the right of politics who believed the rhetoric that people should not scrounge off the taxpayer and live in areas they can’t afford, now find the ‘hardworking’ taxpayer paying more for them to live in lower rent areas!!

Nobody is scrutinising these very costly failed policies of the Tories as they automatically believe that a cap on benefits or cuts to benefits means the overall bill must fall.  It doesn’t and as the official figures show it only increases cost and at a hugely high rate of individual suffering for those families dispersed in this diaspora.

Numbers don’t lie, only politicians do.


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