The ‘skivers on benefits’ rhetoric loved by the Tory government and the Tory media is undermined by research commissioned by the Labour Party, which details the growth of ‘in-work’ poverty due to a fall in wages and a rise in rents.
The figures, compiled by the House of Commons Library, show:
– The number of housing benefit claimants in work rose from 650,561 in May 2010 to 1.03 million by the end of 2013.
– The cost of the extra claims was £4.8 billion
– In England, the number of in-work claimants has increased from 586,181 to 936,964 since 2010.
Writing on The Independent’s website, Rachel Reeves, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, and Emma Reynolds, Labour’s housing spokeswoman, said: “This year the Government will be spending £1.4 billion more on housing benefit than in 2010. This increase is being driven by the huge rise in people in work needing to claim housing benefit because they can’t make ends meet. Far from, ‘getting to grips’ with housing benefit the Government has completely lost control… People used to think that if you were in work you should be able to save for a home. Now increasing numbers of working people can’t even afford their rent without help from the state.”
See article by the Independent’s Political Editor Andrew Grice, 9 May 2014