Wednesday, 4 November 2009

42% of Hackney households on Housing Benefit - and rising

Hackney has the highest rate of households claiming Housing Benefit in the UK - 41.9%. This is nearly four percentage points higher than the next highest London Borough - Tower Hamlets 38.1%.

In 2007 DWP figures for Hackney showed 38.9% of households claiming, in Tower Hamlets the figure was the same as now, 38.1% (The previous DWP figures for Housing Benefit were for 2007 and All tables in Microsoft Excel format)

The Department for Work and Pensions said that the recent nationwide increase in working age claimants was "consistent with the increase in the number of working-age people claiming key out-of-work benefits."

Could this be bad news for the miraculous "worklessness" figures in the Hackney? (Don't look a gift horse in the mouth and Hackney: A worklessness miracle).

In August the Office of National Statistics figures for Hackney showed that the population of economically inactive residents shrank. It fell by about 2,900 people (from 28.7% of the working population to 26.6%). The figures are more dramatic over a longer period. The level of long-term unemployment in Hackney fell from 47,100 in 2005 to 26,900 in 2007 - a fall of 43%. A much faster rate than neighbouring boroughs.

The Housing Benefit figures come from the Department for Work and Pensions - Click here to access the complete set of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Tables or for the general release click here.

Hackney is the worst in the UK - well above the UK average, 17% and the London average, 23%.

It also appears to be getting worse:

Housing Benefit claimants in Hackney: (Nov,08) 35,540 (Dec,08) 35,600 (Jan09) 35,830 (Feb,09) 36,050 (March,09) 36,320 (April,09) 36,620 (May,09) 36,860 -

From November 2008 to May 2009 the number of claimants has risen by 3.7% in Hackney.

Housing Benefit claimants in Tower Hamlets: (Nov,08) 32,210 (Dec,08)32,500 (Jan09)32,940 (Feb,09)32,760 (March,09) 33,010 (April,09) 33,480 (May,09) 33,490.

From November 2008 to May 2009 the number of claimants has risen by 3.97% in Tower Hamlets.

In a statement the DWP said: "There is wide Local Authority variation in both Housing Benefit recipients and Council Tax Benefit recipients as a proportion of Households, ranging from 5.9 per cent to 41.9 per cent for Housing Benefit, and 7.8 per cent to 39.9 per cent for Council Tax Benefit."

Both of the extreme limits are in Hackney.

The proportion of the population claiming Housing Benefit in Hackney:

LONDON 23.2%

Inner London
Camden 26.1%
City of London 22.6%
Hackney 41.9%
Hammersmith and Fulham 26.9%
Haringey 33.9%
Islington 33.5%
Kensington and Chelsea 19.0%
Lambeth 30.4%
Lewisham 27.7%
Newham 36.9%
Southwark 30.1%
Tower Hamlets 38.1%
Wandsworth 19.6%
Westminster 22.1%

In terms of Council Tax benefit claimants the percentage falls - down to 39.9% and the gap with the next highest claiming borough, Tower Hamlets (37.1) is narrower, but Hackney still has the highest proportion of its population making claims.

LONDON 23.6%

Inner London
Camden 24.1%
City of London 8.0%
Hackney 39.9%
Hammersmith and Fulham 24.7%
Haringey 32.6%
Islington 32.3%
Kensington and Chelsea 16.9%
Lambeth 27.2%
Lewisham 26.8%
Newham 35.8%
Southwark 28.3%
Tower Hamlets 37.1%
Wandsworth 17.1%
Westminster 18.5%

The previous DWP figures for Housing Benefit were for 2007 (All tables in Microsoft Excel format )

Inner London - East
Hackney 38.9
Haringey 32.3
Islington 35.2
Lambeth 27.4
Lewisham 26.0
Newham 35.7
Southwark 30.3
Tower Hamlets 38.1

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