PM refuses to stand down on housing benefit cuts
Prime Minister David Cameron has stood firm over his Government’s plan to cut housing benefits.
The opposition claimed the policy was a “complete shambles” but the PM defended the moves and said: “These are difficult changes but I think it is right.”
The proposals include ending the “council housing for life”, which means tenants in England should be given fixed-term contracts and should their finances improve, encourage them to move into private housing.
The Government has also announced proposals to limit housing benefit to a maximum of £250 a week for a one-bedroom property and up to £400 a week for a four-bedroom home.
Furthermore, there is set to be a 10% cut in housing benefit for anyone on jobseeker’s allowance for over a year.
Defending his actions, Mr Cameron said: “The point everyone in this House has got to consider: are we happy to go on paying housing benefit of £30,000, £40,000, £50,000?
“Our constituents working hard to give benefits so people can live in homes they couldn’t even dream of? I don’t think that’s fair.”
Cabinet minister Philip Hammond has said the cuts are intended to make the lives of those receiving state support comparable to people working and earning middle incomes.
According to Chancellor George Osborne, some families were receiving more than £100,000 a year in housing benefit.