Figures released today by the Department of Work and Pensions show that since changes to housing benefits for private tenants were introduced, the number of claimants in some central London boroughs has dropped dramatically, while the number of claimants has risen most sharply in outer London.
Claimants fell 21% in Kensington and Chelsea, 20% in Westminster, 4% in Islington and 1% in Camden between March 2011 (before the cuts were introduced) and November 2012. Across London there was a 17% rise in claimants over the same period. The number of claimants rose faster in outer London boroughs like Barnet (45%), Newham (41%), Enfield and Kingston upon Thames (29%) and Barking and Dagenham (25%).
Darren Johnson commented:
“This is the first evidence that the housing benefit cuts and high rents may be changing the shape of London, exporting low-paid households to outer London and beyond.
The Mayor of London has fully supported these benefit cuts. He needs to take a long hard look at these figures and start lobbying the Government to ensure people on low wages and seeking work can still afford to live in all parts of London, otherwise we will become a segregated city like Paris.”
Darren Johnson is available for comment.
Figures are published on the DWP web site:
In April 2011 the first changes to the Local Housing Allowance, the benefit for private renants, were introduced, capping the amount any tenant could claim. In October 2011 the rate of the benefit was also cut from being pegged at the median local rent (50th percentile) down to the 30th percentile.
|Mar-11||Nov-12||Change (abs)||Change (%)|
|City of London||30||20||-10||-33%|
|Kensington and Chelsea||2760||2170||-590||-21%|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||3110||3130||20||1%|
|Richmond upon Thames||1990||2170||180||9%|
|Barking and Dagenham||5030||6290||1260||25%|
|Kingston upon Thames||2550||3280||730||29%|