LETTER IN DAILY TELEGRAPH AND ARTICLE IN HARINGEY INDEPENDENT 4/1/13
LETTER IN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 4/1/13
Benefits cuts fail to account for the cost of living
SIR – The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the social policy research and development charity, estimates that a single adult needs £91 a week to cover food, fuel, clothing and transport. Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) for an unemployed single adult aged 25 to 60 is £71 a week, after rent and council tax, which will be the standard amounts of the new Universal Credit.
From April 6, 837 single adults here in the Borough of Haringey, and thousands of others throughout England and Wales, will have to pay £3.18 to £7.43 a week council tax out of that inadequate £71 a week. This increases to an average of £41.43 if you add the rent to be paid (because of the overall benefit cap of £500 a week), and to £51.46 if you add the rent not paid by the housing benefit cap.
Pointing to the 1 per cent increase in benefits obscures the catastrophic down-rating about to hit the incomes of the poorest citizens of England and Wales.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty
ARTICLE IN HARINGEY INDEPENDENT 4/1/13
Taxpayers Against Poverty leader the Rev Paul Nicolson says benefit cap will hit poorest 'with catastrophic force'
10:57am Thursday 3rd January 2013 in NewsBy Bruce Thain
Benefit cap will hit poorest with catastrophic says charity leader
The leader of a charity says the borough's poorest people will be "guinea pigs" for a government welfare experiment.
The Reverend Paul Nicolson, of Taxpayers Against Poverty, believes the poorest people in the borough will be hit hardest when plans to cap benefits in Haringey are introduced before much of the rest of the country.
Last month the government announced the national roll-out of a £500-a-week benefit cap would be introduced first in London boroughs of Haringey, Enfield, Bromley and Croydon.
Mr Nicolson, of Campbell Road, Tottenham, said: “The people of Haringey are being treated as guinea pigs for the changes to the benefit system.
“People will simply not be able to afford to live, some will be forced onto the streets and there will be implications for the wider community such as a rise in crime and mental health issues.
“These cuts and changes will hit the poorest in the borough with catastrophic force and it is going to be a very difficult 2013 for many people.
“There seems to be a real lack of understanding from government about what will happen and the effect it will have.”
According to figures from the Department of Work and Pensions, up to 1,300 households in Haringey will be affected by the changes that would see benefits limited to £26,000 a year.