Working people’s housing benefit bill in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire has risen by almost 60pc since 2010, Labour says

12:09 09 May 2014

Rachel Reeves, shadow work and pensions secretary, visits Great Yarmouth College. Pictured second right with Lara Norris, Labour

Rachel Reeves, shadow work and pensions secretary, visits Great Yarmouth College. Pictured second right with Lara Norris, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for GY, talking to Doug Lawrence, learning manager for engineering. Picture: LC


The number of working people claiming housing benefit has risen by almost 60pc since 2010, according to research commissioned by Labour.

The number of working people claiming housing benefit.The number of working people claiming housing benefit.

Figures compiled by the House of Commons Library for the party suggest 386,000 more people with jobs are receiving the subsidy, up to 1,036,813 in November 2013 from 650,551 in May 2010.

In Norfolk and Suffolk the number went up in every district, with the biggest increase in North Norfolk and Forest Heath.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves said the increase was set to cost the public purse an extra £4.8 billion over this Parliament.

“These shocking figures expose the complete failure of David Cameron’s Government to control housing benefit spending because more people are struggling to pay their rent.

“Since 2010 there has been a 60% increase in the number of working people claiming housing benefit costing taxpayers a staggering £4.8 billion,” she said.

“The huge increase in people who are in work claiming housing benefit is the result of the Government’s failure to make work pay, tackle the cost-of-living crisis and build the new homes we need.

“Labour will tackle the rising cost-of-living by freezing gas and electricity bills and we’ll make work pay by restoring the value of the national minimum wage and getting more employers to pay a living wage, ensuring more people earn enough to cover the cost of living.”

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “The truth is that the housing benefit bill was spiralling out of control in the years up to 2010, doubling to £20 billion in a decade and forecast to rise further.

“Action this Government has taken is bringing that bill under control - saving the taxpayer over £2 billion a year. And contrary to these figures, we have seen the number of housing benefit claimants fall over the last quarter.

“We have also taken action to help hard-working people by increasing the tax-free personal allowance, freezing fuel-duty, cutting energy bills, and introducing free school meals and tax free childcare.”


  • There has been systemic failure in housing policy for decades in this country. When my Grandfather returned from the First World War there was a promise of homes fit for heroes. Did not happen, end of WW 11 same promises did not happen. Returning local personnel squatted on former military bases and airfields(until evicted). Recently been over to Germany. Better employment prospects, higher wages, better pensions, huge ranges of good quality & affordable rental properties available. They seem to get it right in most respects and look after their citizens.

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    Grey Fox

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • You only have to go to a car boot sale these days to recognise where the new low income folks have come from. I blame Labour and their open door policy.Schools housing and doctors are all under demand.

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    Michael Clintergate

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

  • The housing price bubble created by the government's Help To Buy Votes scheme can only mean the bill will go higher still.

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    Peter Watson

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • "....Well that's entirely Labour's fault....". Dave has been in power four it's his fault.

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    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • Well that's entirely Labour's fault Cram the country with minimum wage workers and make more people compete for the same wage packets and more people need and qualify for housing benefits.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, May 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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