More workers claim benefits

HIGH rents and low pay are creating a toxic financial mixture for many Arun district residents.

New figures from Labour’s southern taskforce, based on House of Commons’ research, show the number of housing benefit claimants in the area who are also working has risen by 
61 per cent between 2010-14, from 1,945 to 3,125.

The average monthly rent for a private two-bedroom property is £725 compared to the £575 English average. But the percentage of people working for the minimum wage is above the five per cent national figure at 6.7 per cent.

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s 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.

“We’ll make work pay by restoring the value of the national minimum wage and getting more employers to pay a living wage.”