4,000 more East End low-pay workers now on housing benefit, claims Labour

A 58 per cent rise in working people are now having to claim housing benefit in London’s deprived East End since 2010, House of Commons Library figures have revealed.

Almost 4,000 more working people in Tower Hamlets alone are claiming benefit every year since the coalition government took office, according to research commissioned by Labour.

The increasing cost-of-living is outstripping household incomes in the East End with 10,000 low-paid workers now relying on benefits to top-up their wages, researchers have found.

“It is a total scandal,” Tower Hamlets council’s opposition group leader Sirajul Islam said. “The government acting tough on benefits is pushing hard-working families closer to the breadline.”

A combination of market pressure and benefit cuts is “hitting many families hard,” say campaigners who are calling for a freeze in gas and electricity prices and for more employers to “pay a living wage” to ensure households earn enough to cover their cost-of-living.