Benefit changes will cause ‘great suffering’

Families will be “driven from their homes” if the government’s planned welfare changes go ahead, Labour’s housing spokesperson on the London Assembly has warned.

Responding to London Councils’ finding that 133,000 households in the city won’t be able to afford their rent if benefit caps are pushed through, Labour Assembly member Nicky Gavron said:

“The mayor and his government keep claiming there will be no social cleansing of London. This report blows that out of the water. It confirms what many have warned – families who did nothing to cause the recession will be hit hardest by these reforms and huge numbers will be driven from their homes. Families being forced to move miles from their workplaces, families and schools will face great and unnecessary suffering.

“As an absolute minimum the mayor should work with the government – as he said all along he would – to get a regional variation for London which recognises the higher cost of living and of housing in the city.”

Ends

Notes

Nicky Gavron is a London-wide member of the London Assembly and the Labour group’s spokesperson on housing and planning. She is a former deputy mayor of London.

Download the London Councils report here http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/news/current/pressdetail.htm?pk=1406

Boris Johnson told the BBC last year on 28 October: “The last thing we want to have in our city is a situation like Paris where the less well off are pushed out to the suburbs. That is not going to happen in London. I will emphatically resist any attempt to recreate a London in which the rich and poor cannot live together. We are going to ensure that we mitigate the impact of this housing benefit cap in London ….

“What we will not see, we will not accept, any kind of Kosovo style social cleansing of London. You are not going to see, on my watch you are not going to see, thousand of families being evicted from the place they have been living and where they have put down roots.”

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About nickygavron

Former Deputy Mayor for London, London Assembly Member, Chair of Planning Committee, and Labour Spokesperson for Planning
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