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Tower Hamlets Mayor opposes government funding cuts

54The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has written to the government setting out the impact that a withdrawal of welfare funding could have to families on low incomes.
Evidence was given to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into local welfare safety nets, showing that households dependent on benefits were an average of £32 per week worse since welfare reforms were introduced.
Tower Hamlets Mayor, John Biggs, said: “Tower Hamlets is one of the most deprived boroughs in the country and welfare reforms have already hit our residents hard.
“I am deeply concerned that the local welfare safety net will be severely reduced as a result of further funding cuts, adversely impacting on our most vulnerable residents and families.
“I am urging the government to maintain funding for Discretionary Housing Payments and local welfare provision for at least another 12 months.”
To date, the council has used central government funding coupled with council funds to support residents affected by welfare reform. This has included help to find employment, support to develop skills and access to emergency or crisis grants.
The council’s approach has been highly commended by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Child Poverty Action Group and Zacharias 2000 reports.
The government has said that details of the reductions to local authority budgets will be set out in the Autumn Statement, published today  (November 25).