A report for Oxfam and the New Policy Institute looks at the interaction of three main benefit cuts: Council Tax Support, the bedroom tax and the limitation of local housing allowances. In summary, the numbers of people affected are
- 970,000 families have cuts in Council Tax Support only
- 280,000 lose through council tax support and LHA
- 200,000 through Council Tax Support and the bedroom tax, and
- 140,000 through the bedroom tax alone
- 100,000 through LHA alone.
These figures do not cover all the cuts to the poorest families. The most important omissions are probably the sanctions regime, which has affected half a million unemployed people, and the impacts of the reassessment of disability benefits. The total effects are certainly worse than this report suggests. I think, too, that the report plays into the government’s hands when it adds in a further 28,000 victims of the benefits cap – people who can reasonably say they are being badly treated, but who are not (by definition) among the lowest income families.