Hackney households hit hard by benefits freeze as figures show a 61% increase in families now subject to the cap in 2017


The Liberal Democrats have commented on figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions last week that show a 61% increase in the number of households in Hackney subject to the benefits freeze following changes to the benefit system in November 2016.

The figures show as the phased implementation of the benefit cap changes came into effect this year, that a further 639 households became subject to the freeze, rising to 1040 from 401 in January 2017.

65% of the total households subject to the freeze have had their benefits capped at just £50 a week.
52% of the households capped have 1 or more dependant children.
Darren Martin, Spokesperson for the Hackney Liberal Democrats, who researched the figures for the borough said:
"The cruel benefits freeze is hitting low-income working families in Hackney the hardest.
"The freeze in benefit rates, cuts to child tax credit and housing benefit, coupled with the rollout of universal credit, which has become less generous as a result of changes to work allowances, mean large losses for low-income households.
"The combination of the changes to housing benefits and rising rents in the borough, mean that families with one or two children living in a two-bedroom rented home in Hackney and claiming housing benefit, will now have to find at least £400 extra rent a month to cover the shortfall.
"The benefit cap is driving working families onto the streets.
"Unlike Labour, the Liberal Democrats are committed to ending the benefits freeze and reversing the cruel cuts put in place by the Tories.
"The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that the Liberal Democrat manifesto pledges on benefits were more generous to those most in need than those set out by Labour at the election who did not pledge to end the benefit freeze.
"So many people voted for Labour in Hackney believing they were the party that would stand up for working people, but despite the rhetoric, they seem more preoccupied with pursuing ideological vanity projects rather than actually protecting the many working-class families being driven further into poverty by the benefit cap.
"We call on both Meg Hillier and Diane Abbott to spell out their positions on the cruel benefits cap and to put pressure on their party leadership to change policy and push the Tory government to end these cuts."


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