Angus MP Mike Weir has raised directly with Prime Minister David Cameron the potential dangers to womens’ refuges from changes proposed in Housing Benefit payments.
In the recent spending review it was proposed to restrict the level of housing benefit to the local housing allowance limit, which could seriously impact upon the higher costs borne by refuges. It has been calculated that the changes could leave the refuges with an annual shortfall of £5,800 for a two bedroom flat. The losses would be even higher in urban areas. Many refuges would be unable to meet these costs and this would inevitably put their future in doubt.
Mr Weir had been approached by Angus Womens Aid on the matter and he took the opportunity to raise it with the Prime Minister at Prime Ministers Questions this week.
Mr Weir asked Mr Cameron to specifically exempt Refuges from the changes. Commenting on the matter Mr Weir said
“These changes could pose a real threat to the future of a service that is vital to many vulnerable women and children. “
“Whilst the UK Government has said that the final determination has not yet been made it is important that pressure be kept up to ensure that refuges are exempted from these changes”