High rents and low wages problem

By a County Press reporter

Published on Friday, September 05, 2014 - 12:45


FIGURES have revealed how people on the Isle of Wight are struggling to pay high rents, according to a political group.

The Labour Southern Task Force report showed the number of people in work, who needed to claim housing benefit, had risen by 34 per cent, to 2,808, in the last four years on the Isle of Wight.

It said a shortage of housing nationally was pushing up rents.

The taskforce, which is not run by the party but supports Labour policies, said it had found 8.4 per cent of people on the Island were paid the minimum wage, compared 5 per cent nationally.

The number of Islanders paid an hourly rate considered less than the living wage — a rate set independently based on living costs and adopted by some employers on a voluntary basis — was 25.5 per cent, compared with 20 per cent nationally.

The current living wage, outside London, is £7.65, while the minimum wage is due to rise to £6.50 in October.

Rachel Reeves, Labour shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: "The huge increase in people who are in work claiming housing benefit is the result of the government’s failure to make work pay, tackle the cost-of-living crisis and build the new homes we need.

"Labour will tackle the rising cost-of-living by freezing gas and electricity bills and we’ll make work pay by restoring the value of the national minimum wage and getting more employers to pay a living wage, ensuring more people earn enough to cover the cost of living."

Increase in housing benefit claims

Housing benefit key


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