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[Mr James Gray in the Chair] — Housing Benefit

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:10 am on 13th October 2010.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Minister (Health) 10:10 am, 13th October 2010

My hon. Friend speaks extremely well on behalf of Islington, but may I chip in with this? One argument put forward is that the housing benefit cuts will result in rents dropping, but may I point out to the Minister, who may not know this-I know that my hon. Friend does-that only 12% of Islington's private rental sector receives local housing allowance? Therefore, if the benefit were cut, the market would simply move on to other people. If we wish to push down rents in the private rented sector, we cannot do it by cutting housing benefit. I would suggest that the Minister listen carefully to my hon. Friend, because the points that he is making are extremely valid, particularly in respect of Islington.