CPI or 1 per cent rises: The real story is the missing link to rents

As part of today’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced changes to the way Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates will be up-rated over the next three years. Rates will only be up-rated annually by one per cent [PDF] in 2014/15 and 2015/16, as part of a package of real-term cuts to working age benefits. There will be some protection for the most over-heated markets but details remain sketchy.

Also skipped over was the fact that this is an additional cut being … Read more

Why the 'underemployed' face loss of support for housing costs

One in ten people in the UK is now underemployed, meaning they would like to work more hours to boost their earnings but are unable to find suitable jobs.

The problem of underemployment has bubbled around the squeezed middle debate for some time, but the Office for National Statistics has now crunched the numbers and discovered that more than three million Britons are unable to find sufficient work.

Importantly these workers are not people actively choosing to work part-time to … Read more

Sexually abused? Proceed to question 7b

Plans to ban under-25s from claiming housing benefit have caused considerable concern. Shelter and 12 other charities wrote an open letter (£) to The Times this week warning of a rise in homelessness if this essential safety net is removed from younger adults.

Briefings from No 10 and the Treasury have tried to soften criticisms by suggesting that ‘vulnerable’ claimants would be exempt and still able to access support. However, this is unworkable in practice without leaving many deserving young … Read more