Freud: “many will lose” from HB changes
Local Government Chronicle reports (paywall) that David Freud has written to Newham mayor Robin Wells, admitting that “many customers will lose out as a result of these changes” but arguing that they are necessary “to stop the rapid increase in Housing Benefit expenditure.”
Lord Freud adds that DWP is carrying out an economic impact assessment to look at issues such as the added demand for schools and social services in the neighbourhoods they move to.
The Minister’s letter argues that HB claimants with a shortfall will have a “full range of options”; including renegotiating rents and getting local authority help in moving somewhere else. Tenants will be “encouraged to consider these options in good time.”
LGC points out that this comment is at odds with the Minister’s evidence to the DWP Select Committee at the start of the month that the numbers affected would be “relatively modest” and Eric Pickles’ denials that people will be forced to move out of inner London.