John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, commenting on today’s government statement announcing that Ministers are delaying a cut to housing benefit which Labour has warned will affect thousands of elderly and vulnerable people, said:

“The Chancellor’s crude cuts to housing benefit are set to close thousands of specialist homes for elderly and vulnerable people. It’s why Labour has led the opposition to his plans from the start.

“Just weeks after Ministers insisted they were pressing ahead with these damaging plans, they have now backtracked and said they’ll delay the implementation of these cuts.

“This is a victory for common sense and overdue recognition that the Chancellor’s cuts plans are in complete chaos. While Ministers have admitted they have no idea what the impact of their plans will be, housing organisations have been clear that these cuts will be a catastrophe for the people they support.

“The Chancellor must now use the Budget in two weeks’ time to make clear he will halt these dangerous plans, publish a full impact assessment and consult fully with housing providers to safeguard this essential housing for those who need it.“