Monday, June 26, 2017

Lib Dems: Labour must come off the fence on benefits freeze

The Liberal Democrats have called on Labour to come off the fence and make clear whether they would end the benefits freeze that will see the incomes of millions of families slashed in the coming years.

Labour Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams on Sunday said she was "looking" into the issue but admitted ending the freeze had not been costed in the Labour manifesto.

It comes as research by the charity Shelter has warned over a million households living in private rented accommodation are at risk of becoming homeless by 2020 because of the benefits freeze, rising rents and a lack of social housing.

Under current proposals, an average working family on tax and child credits would be around £780 worse off a year by 2021 due to the benefits freeze.

The Liberal Democrats have committed to unfreezing benefits and up-rating them in line with inflation.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Lloyd commented:

"Labour have failed to commit to helping struggling families by unfreezing benefits. After Debbie Abraham's comments yesterday,  their position remains as clear as mud.

"It's time for Labour to come off the fence and tell us whether they support slashing the incomes of the poorest in society or not.

"Millions of working households across the country will see their incomes cut by hundreds of pounds in the years ahead.

"We need to ensure that families who are already struggling to get by are not pushed over the edge."
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