Next April the government's new weekly benefit cap of £384 per household
will take effect. This will decimate household finances for many Wirral
families and represents a financial time bomb for Wirral Council which
has a duty to accommodate homeless families.
Take the example of a couple with three children. Currently they can
claim up to £166 per week in housing benefit. From April this figure
will plummet to just £50/week. This is well below the average rent for
social housing (£93) and way below average rents in the private sector
In Wirral, more than 1,700 households including over 5,000 children are
set to be acutely affected by the benefit cap. Many will inevitably face
eviction. A moderate estimate suggests additional costs to Wirral
Council of dealing with increased homelessness of £9 million each year.
This is a sum that threatens to undermine service provision across the
board in Wirral and put upward pressure on council tax bills.
The benefit cap represents a brutal attack on low income families and
their children. Yet only the Green Party opposes it. We call on all
those with a social conscience to join us in exposing its devastating
impacts and working with us to defeat it.
Cllr Pat Cleary
Green Party councillor for Birkenhead and Tranmere