Andrew Gwynne MP has highlighted new figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions that show a dramatic increase in the amount of housing benefit paid to private landlords under the Coalition Government.
Under Labour, in 2009/10, £22.5m was paid to private landlords in Tameside, and £25.3m was paid in Stockport. This then jumped to £27m and 29.2m in Tameside and Stockport respectively following the 2010 General Election. Both boroughs then experienced a further increase to more than £30m.
The percentage change in Tameside between 2009/10 and 2012/13 was more than 32%. Stockport experienced a 25% increase in the same period.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“The Tories can’t control the costs of social security not only because they are incompetent, but they don’t understand that falling wages and rising rents are pushing up the benefit bill. Labour will take action to keep social security under control in a fair way by tackling the root causes of rising social security spending such as low pay, long-term unemployment and the inadequate supply of housing.
“We would deal with low pay by strengthening the minimum wage and encouraging more employers to pay a living wage. We would get 200,000 homes a year built by 2020 to help bring down the cost of rents and to tackle the housing crisis – and we would introduce strong measures and a register to tackle the minority of rogue private landlords.
“This government has pushed more people into needing housing benefit, and it is paying more and more of it to private landlords because they have failed to get more houses built.”