Boris Johnson’s response to my recent written question on housing benefit shows the Mayor is simply pretending to have achieved fundamental reforms whilst simultaneously supporting the measures.
- He claims to have gained more time, but this just means delaying the pain.
- He claims to have won more funding, but the amount he got was just a drop in the ocean.
- He claims to have delivered incentives for landlords to reduce their rents, but he told me himself that last year alone private sector rents in London rose 12%. So where’s the evidence?
The Mayor needs to push for a regional variation to the benefit caps.
Question No: 1419 / 2012
Boroughs of all political colours in both inner and outer-London – including Croydon, Newham, Waltham Forest and Westminster – have publicly stated that as a result of the welfare reforms they are seeking homes for claimants in other parts of the country. Kit Malthouse AM, your deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise, claimed on the April 29th Sunday Politics that you do not believe there is a need for boroughs to move residents out of London because of the welfare reforms as you have secured “transitional arrangements”. Why do you think you are right and the councils are wrong?
Written response from the Mayor
The main political parties agreed that welfare reform, in particular housing benefit reform, was overdue and necessary. I have had and will continue to have a constructive and positive dialogue with Government about its programme of welfare reform. These discussions have secured transitional arrangements for London, including more time for existing claimants, more funding for boroughs, and incentives for landlords to reduce their rents.