UK Politics

Labour Party: Labour supports Housing Benefit reform, but it must be the right reform - Alexander and Flint

News   •   Nov 09, 2010 10:13 GMT

Douglas Alexander MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said ahead of the debate on Housing Benefit in Parliament tomorrow:

"We are in favour of housing benefit reform but against rushing through changes in a way which risks increased costs and higher homelessness.

"This is not about a few hundred families in our major cities but hundreds of thousands of people - including many in work - who are facing a sudden drop in their income.

"The government should think again or as Shelter have warned we risk having to spend an extra £120m in temporary accomodation."

Caroline Flint MP, Labour's Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said:

"Labour is in favour of reforming Housing Benefit. But it must be the right sort of reform. We’ll work with the government, but not on the basis of rushed changes and easy headlines.

"The way the coalition is rushing through their proposals before any consideration of their consequences risks chaos, and, in the end, suddenly uprooting families, forcing them into areas where services are already under pressure, and making people homeless, costs more than it saves.

"Ultimately, a key way we’ll be able to cut the amount we spend on housing benefit is by taking a fresh look at the private rented sector and building more homes."