Housing Benefit — 9 Nov 2010 at 21:44

The majority of MPs voted in support of government plans to reduce housing benefit for those who have been on Jobseekers Allowance for over a year.

The text of the rejected motion, introduced by Labour MP Douglas Alexander was[1]:

  • That this House
  • believes that, whilst housing benefit is in need of reform, the Government's proposals will mean significant losses for hundreds of thousands of working families and pensioners and risk spending an additional £120 million on the cost of providing temporary accommodation; and
  • calls on the Government to bring forward revised proposals for the reform of housing benefit which do not penalise those who have been unable to secure employment within 12 months, and which ensure that any proposals are implemented on a revised timetable which allows councils, tenants and landlords to adjust, allows the impact on rents to be observed and understood, and avoids additional spending on temporary accommodation.

During the debate MP William Bain put the government's plan into his own words:

  • proposals to slash housing benefit payments by 10% for those who find themselves on jobseeker's allowance for 12 months

The "Red Book" for 2010[3] detailing the budget decisions and their expecting costs/savings shows "Reduce awards to 90% after 12 months for claimants of Jobseekers Allowance" is expected to save £100m per year in each of 2013/14 and 2014/15.

The risk mentioned in the opposition motion of more money than is saved being spent on temporary accommodation is apparently derived from research commissioned by Shelter[4]. This was disputed during the debate by the minister Ian Duncan Smith:

  • None the less, the facts are exaggerated. For example, there is the ridiculous fact that we might have to spend an additional £120 million to provide temporary accommodation. That is ludicrous.

Given the Shelter report is just a press release, citing research which is not accessible, it appears reasonable to give more weight to the official figures in the Red Book and judge that the Government proposals are expected to reduce Government spending on benefits.


Debate in Parliament | Source |

Public Whip is run as a free not-for-profit free service. If you'd like to support us, please consider switching your electricity and/or gas to Bulb Energy who provide 100% renewable electricity and tend to be 20% cheaper than the 'Big Six'. They'll also pay any exit fees (up to £120) from your old supplier AND give you (and us) a £50 credit for joining up via our Bulb Referral Link.

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Alliance0 10100.0%
Con273 (+1 tell) 0089.5%
DUP0 7087.5%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent0 10100.0%
Lab0 236 (+2 tell)092.6%
LDem45 (+1 tell) 0182.5%
PC0 30100.0%
SDLP0 30100.0%
SNP0 5083.3%
Total:318 257190.2%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Bob RussellColchesterLDem (front bench)both

About the Project

The Public Whip is a not-for-profit, open source website created in 2003 by Francis Irving and Julian Todd and now run by Bairwell Ltd.

PublicWhip v2 codebase is currently under development - you can join the Slack group to find out more or email [email protected]

The Whip on the Web

Help keep PublicWhip alive