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23 November 2023
In the Autumn Statement, delivered by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday, the Government announced an increase in benefit payments. Councillor Taylor, Romford, welcomed the increase and called it a “welcome relief” to households across Havering.
The Autumn Statement, the name given to a government budget update this week, announced a number of changes to benefit payments. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt explained that the government was now able to cut taxes, and increase payments, as the economy was beginning to return to normal.
Inflation has now dropped by half since the beginning of the year, something Prime Minister Sunak set out as one of his 5 main priorities.
Universal Credit will go up by 6.7% and pensions by 8.5%, both rises larger than expected. Alongside this rise was a cut in National Insurance and an increase in the minimum wage, which is going up by more than £1 an hour to £11.44.
Councillor Taylor, Romford, welcomed the changes but said the most promising change was to Local Housing Allowances (LHA),
“Back in September, I visited Parliament and met with MPs to call for an increase in the Local Housing Allowance. This benefit had been frozen and it meant local families could no longer afford to rent a home in Havering.
Working with housing charities and Havering Council, we put forward a case for the LHA to be increased.
I’m pleased to say the government listened to us and many of Havering’s most vulnerable families will now see an increase in their allowance.” – Taylor said,
The LHA freeze meant that average rents in Havering were higher than the housing benefit payments. This left families homeless and meant Havering Council had to fund the gap.
“This change is important”, Councillor Taylor continued. “It not only means more families can afford a home, it should also mean Havering Council spending less on housing. That’s why I fought for the change.
I am pleased that the government listened to us. I knew it was a political risk to lobby my own party, but politicians must put our residents before our party and I will continue to fight for Romford”.
“The changes announced this week will be a welcome relief to households across Havering, and relieve some of the pressure on our council budget”.
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Councillor Taylor visited Parliament on 11th September, participating in an emergency All Party Parliamentary Group on Temporary Housing and Homelessness.
Read more - News | Cllr David Taylor
The LHA unfreezing will mean LHA increases to the 30th percentile of local market rates. The below table shows the impact that this may have in Havering. Some families may see an increase of over £600pcm in their allowance.
Local Housing Allowance
Average Rents in Havering