Caroline Flint and Douglas Alexander were leading Labour’s attack on the Coalition Government’s proposed housing benefit reforms this week.
Speaking in an urgent debate called by the Labour Opposition, Ms Flint, the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said:
“Labour are in favour of housing benefit reform. But the Government’s plans will price pensioners out of their homes, push families into arrears and put them at risk eviction, and make it impossible for hundreds of thousands of working people to hold down their jobs or find work.”
“In Doncaster alone, nearly five thousands will be worse off as a result of these cuts. “
Labour says that the detail of just one of the Conservatives’ plans shows 770,000 people in Britain are set to lose out by an average of £9 a week.
Supporting the Labour motion, Douglas Alexander, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: We are in favour of reforming Housing Benefit and where we can we will work with the Government on the detail of their measures and not simply reject all their changes out of hand.
“But these changes are being rushed and as a result risk higher homelessness and increased costs for the taxpayer in temporary accommodation.
“The Tories want everyone to focus their attention on the cap - but actually this measure only saves £65m out of almost £2billion they are cutting from Housing Benefit.
“But the Tories want it to distract from some of their proposals which are simply wrong - such as the plan to cut housing benefit for those people unable, despite their best efforts, to find work for 12 months.”
To read caroline Flint's full speech go to:
The Labour motion states:
IMPACT OF PROPOSED CHANGES TO HOUSING BENEFIT
That this House believes that, whilst housing benefit is in need of reform, the Government’s proposals will mean significant losses for hundreds of thousands of working families and pensioners and risk spending an additional £120 million on the cost of providing temporary accommodation; and calls on the Government to bring forward revised proposals for the reform of housing benefit which do not penalise those who have been unable to secure employment within 12 months, and which ensure that any proposals are implemented on a revised timetable which allows councils, tenants and landlords to adjust, allows the impact on rents to be observed and understood, and avoids additional spending on temporary accommodation
The motion was tabled by: Ed Miliband, Douglas Alexander, Caroline Flint, Alan Johnson, Karen Buck and Rosie Winterton