Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Black Country workers reliant on Housing Benefit up by 75%

New figures show that the number of Black Country workers reliant on housing benefit has risen by 75 per cent in the last four years.

Official Department of Work and Pensions statistics show that the number of working people claiming housing benefit in the Black Country has leapt from 10,627 in 2010 to 18,640 last year.

This is despite a modest increase of just 2 per cent in the total number of people claiming housing benefit over the same period.

Working people can qualify for Housing Benefit if they are on low incomes and need support to pay the rent.

Dudley MP Ian Austin has blamed the increase on the rising cost of living, saying that more working families are struggling to afford rent and bills.

Ian Austin said:

“Lots of working families in the Black Country are struggling to make ends meet. Wages here are below the national average and bills keep going up.

“Now thousands more Black Country families are having to rely on housing benefit because their wages just don’t cover the rent.

“I want the government to help local families and bring down the benefit bill by taking action on low pay and high rent, including a higher minimum wage and a cap on rent increases.”

A full breakdown of housing benefit figures for Black Country authorities can be found here.

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