Alex speaks out against Coalition’s Housing Benefit cuts

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has spoken out against the Coalition’s plans to cut Housing Benefit.

During a debate initiated by the Labour Party, Alex, who is a Member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, argued that the changes were rushed and ill thought through.

Following the debate, Alex said:

“The media headlines regarding the Government’s plans for housing benefit have focussed on their impact on London and the South East but it’s becoming clear that this will be a change that has a big impact on low income families here in the North East.

Shelter, the homeless charity, estimates that 45,000 people in the North East will be affected by cuts to Housing Benefit.

I believe the Government should focus on the long-term goal of building more affordable homes in order to ensure house prices and rents are sustainable.

At the moment, 700,000 low paid workers are recipients of housing benefit. These people rely on hand-outs from the state because their income does not cover the expensive rents we see in many parts of the country.

Building more homes would help keep rents down but at the moment I am told that councils have ditched plans for new homes at a rate of 1,300 every day. This is not the direction we should be travelling in.”