Two thousand families hit by benefit change

Over two thousand families on low incomes in Haringey will be £780 poorer per year from next April when the Labour government’s benefit changes take effect, it has been revealed. In a response to an enquiry by Cllr Richard Wilson, Haringey Council confirmed that 2,016 residents will be affected when changes are made to the Local Housing Allowance rule which takes away £15 per week extra for families to spend on better housing.

Changes to the Local Housing Allowance were announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, in the April 2009 Budget report. In total, £1.5million will be taken away from the poorest families in the borough.

Liberal Democrats have criticised the Government and have likened the changes to the abolition of the 10p tax rate last year that similarly hit the poorest and resulted in an embarrassing u-turn by the Labour government.

Cllr Richard Wilson, Deputy Leader of Haringey Liberal Democrats, comments:

“I am appalled that, at a time of recession, the Labour Government are raiding the pockets of some of the poorest families in Haringey. There are over 2,000 families across Haringey relying on this money. £15 might not seem much to Labour Ministers but is a huge amount to someone on the poverty line.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“This is as bad as the abolition of the 10p tax rate and yet another example of how out of touch Labour are with the least well off.

“I will be contacting the Minister at the Department for Work and Pensions to ask why local residents are being hit by the government at this hard time.”