A cut to Housing Benefits is imminent after a 12-month allowance was placed on a number of changes which David Cameron wished to make on the Housing Benefits sector. If May refuses to address the issue or change the policies put in place last year, she could risk how International countries view the UK as a whole.
The changes will affect veterans, those escaping domestic violence, the elderly, homeless, and people with mental health issues in the UK the most out of any other demographic. Members of the Labour party are urging May to reconsider changes that the Tories wish to make in the next few years. MP Graheme Morris has warned that plans to change the housing benefit should be reversed if she wants to maintain thriving housing schemes. He also stated that cutting funds for said schemes will raise questions about the government’s priorities and where they place the most vulnerable in the UK on their scale of importance.
Earlier in the year, the government announced the year exemption of the 1% cut from housing benefits throughout the UK. However, after 12 months, the sociological and economic landscape has changed, urging people to call for a review in how this will affect the economy in the long run. A statement from the department of Work and Pensions states that they will be looking into reviewing the change and its effects, however, Theresa May is yet to comment on the situation.
There are fears for those who will be most affected, as well as for charities who help in housing those who need help. With the shrinking budget, it’s estimated that 41% of these charities will shut down due to the 1% cut to Housing Benefit. Questions are also being raised about the ferocity of May, and about her reasoning for putting the most vulnerable at the bottom of the pile of importance.
Damian Greene, the new secretary for the DWP has stated that he wants policies that are going to work with budgets and cuts alike, and has stressed that although he is worried about any imminent cuts, those who will see its effects won’t be seeing them until April 2018. However, there are already imminent changes being made to the sector. Bronsgrove District Council have told residents that they can no longer claim their housing benefit if they leave the country for longer than 4 weeks, as it will be viewed as a temporary absence from the UK.
The BBC believe that these cuts, if they come into place, will benefit places such as Wales, who have seen a jobs boom in recent months. They believe that a cut in Housing Benefits will mean a rise in affordable living for those who need it, and believe the changes can only be good for the economy.