U-turn on housing benefit cut for jobseekers

Richard Capie, Deputy Chief Executive of CIH said: “This is an important and welcome concession.  Government has recognised that this is a draconian measure that would have undermined households’ abilities to pay the rent, regardless of the job market they were living in, or the level of endeavour they were putting in to find work.   We are pleased that they have listened to reason and have taken on board the concerns of the sector.

“We do however remain deeply concerned about other aspects of the welfare reform programme.   CIH recognises the importance of reducing the welfare and housing benefit bills and has supported reform in this area for some time.  However, as with the JSA decision, we hope that parliament and government in particular will revisit some important aspects of the legislation, which for all their good intentions, remain deeply flawed and unsustainable”

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said: ‘It is excellent news that ministers have listened to organisations such as the Federation and dropped the proposal to punish the unemployed by cutting their housing benefit if they have been out of work for more than a year.

‘We felt the plan would have been unfair and unjust – as it would have punished the unemployed regardless of how few jobs there are in their local area and how hard they have looked for work.

‘No Government saying that it will look after the vulnerable could possibly have introduced such a harsh measure.’

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