Benefit cuts may make thousands of pupils move

Thousands of central London schoolchildren could be forced out of their homes and subsequently their schools when caps on housing benefit come into play.

The Government’s housing benefit cuts will be £250 for a one-bedroom home, £290 for a two-bedroom home, £340 for a three-bedroom home, and £400-a-week for a four-bedroom home.

In Maida Vale alone this would mean a staggering 43% of pupils would have to move. The caps for current claimants will come into effect in January 2012. Simon Huges, Lib-Dem deputy leader said: It is crucial that the Government uses this time to think of a solution now that more and more evidence is emerging of the severe consequences the benefits caps will have on London and Londoners.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Housing Benefit has spiralled out of control over the last decade and it’s not right that some families on benefits are able to live in homes that most working families could not afford.

“We have provided £190m over the Spending Review period to support people who are affected by changes to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

“We are working closely with local authorities to support them during the transitional stages, and particularly London local authorities who are affected by the LHA weekly caps.

“We recognise that Westminster is particularly affected by high rents and that is why we have allocated them £1.1million in Discretionary Housing Payments this year, the largest single amount for a local authority”.

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