The number of housing benefit claimants in central London has fallen sharply while the outer boroughs are experiencing a surge.
A statement from Assembly Member Darren Johnson said that figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions showed:
“Claimants fell 21% in Kensington and Chelsea, 20% in Westminster, 4% in Islington and 1% in Camden between March 2011 (before the cuts were introduced) and November 2012. Across London there was a 17% rise in claimants over the same period. The number of claimants rose faster in outer London boroughs like Barnet (45%), Newham (41%), Enfield and Kingston upon Thames (29%) and Barking and Dagenham (25%).”
Johnson, who noted that Mayor Boris Johnson supported the changes, said, ““This is the first evidence that the housing benefit cuts and high rents may be changing the shape of London, exporting low-paid households to outer London and beyond.”
Johnson also called on the mayor to reconsider his stance and lobby “to ensure people on low wages and seeking work can still afford to live in all parts of London, otherwise we will become a segregated city like Paris.”