UNIVERSAL CREDIT SQUEEZING PRIVATE RENTERS

7th October 2019

CALLS TO END TORY BENEFIT FREEZE AND INCREASE HOUSING ALLOWANCE

Tenants in private rented accommodation are being squeezed by the Tories’ Universal Credit, SNP MP, Marion Fellows, said today following Work and Pensions Questions in Westminster.

Tenants in privately rented accommodation receive Local Housing Allowance (LHA) as part of their Universal Credit claim. LHA is supposed to cover the cheapest 30 per cent of properties in the region in which the person lives.

But LHA was frozen by the UK Government’s benefits freeze leaving private tenants £38.49 worse off per week.

At Work and Pensions questions, Mrs Fellows called for LHA to be increased to the pre-2010 level and uprate it in line with inflation and rent increases in each locality.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“The Tories’ Universal Credit is failing to secure for private tenants the most basic necessity of keeping a roof over their heads and is squeezing their incomes. The Tories must lift their benefits freeze, and the Local Housing Allowance must rise with the real-life costs people are facing.

“The UK Government had the perfect opportunity to help struggling households with the spending review, but the Tories are set on continuing with their austerity agenda which damages our communities while giving tax cuts to the richest.

“The SNP built 33,490 affordable homes by the end of the last Scottish Parliamentary term and will build 50,000 by the end of this Parliament – 35,000 of which will be for social rent. But many people currently live in private accommodation and many struggle to afford it.

“The SNP has used its powers spending £47 million mitigating the Tories’ Bedroom Tax. We are building a welfare state in Scotland built of fairness, dignity and respect in stark contrast to the degrading actions of the Tories.”