The number of people receiving housing benefit in the West Berks area has risen 46% since 2010

The number of West Berks residents receiving housing benefit has soared by 46% since the Tory / Lib Dem Coalition Government came to power.

Stats released by the Government's Department for Work and Pensions and analysed by Labour's Southern Taskforce show that between May 2010 and August 2014 (the latest available statistics) more than 500 additional households have begun claiming support to help them with housing costs. 

These figures show two chronic failures of this Coalition Government. 

First, their failure to make work pay as the majority of these additional claimants are in-work but have seen their pay fall in real terms behind inflation, on average by around £1,600.

Second, their failure to address rents rising above inflation. Rents across England have risen by 4.2% in the same time period and West Berks rents now sit nearly £200 above that average

A Labour Government would introduce three-year secure tenancies where the landlord couldn't raise the original quoted rent above inflation within those three years and we'd cut housing benefit for the long term by building more social housing.

Our policies designed to make work pay such as raising the Minimum Wage above £8 an hour and stamping down on zero-hours contracts will also reduce spending on housing benefit without hurting those who currently receive it.