Planned reforms of the benefit system will have a crippling impact on Bolton’s most vulnerable people.

The Government proposes to cap the rate of Housing Benefit in the social sector at the same rate of Housing Benefit in the private sector.

Bolton’s supported housing charities, Emmaus, St Vincent’s Housing Association, and Bolton at Home face funding uncertainty after the Government announced its intention to cut the amount of Housing Benefit claimants receive.

Speaking in the Commons Ms Qureshi said: “These proposals are counter productive, both economically and morally.”

The Government claims the reform will save tax payers £225 million, but Ms Qureshi says these claims are ‘rubbish’.

She said: “These are people with drug and mental health problems -; put them on the street they will probably end up committing crime and in the prison system, which will end up costing the state even more money.”

Emmaus Bolton supports people until they are ready to move on.  The average Housing Benefit is £123.60 per week, but the cost to Emmaus is approximately £1,000 per month to support each person.

Tony Stephenson, from Emmaus Bolton, said: “We have no idea what, if any funding we might get because we rely upon the Housing Benefit contribution to keep our service alive.”

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