A study by a campaigning group called Home Truths reports that a housing shortage and stagnant wages are forcing increasing numbers of those in work to apply for help with housing costs in order to keep a roof over their heads.
The North East has seen a 108% rise, since 2009, in those in work who are claiming housing benefit, and also the smallest increase nationally in new business start-ups.
Private rents and house prices are projected to rise by 25% and 17% respectively by 2020.
Monica Burns, North East external affairs manager for the National Housing Federation – “We hear a lot about ‘making work pay’, but employment opportunities are scarce in parts of the North East and wages are lower than in other parts of the country.
“This is having a knock-on impact on people in work, with more and more hard working families being forced to rely on housing benefit to help pay for the roof over their heads.”
Of course, we still get idiots suggesting that we should have lower regional wages. But then, those idiots are usually (a) Tories, who know they’re never going to be in power here, (b) in London or the South East, and (c) never likely to be in a position to have to accept lower regional wages themselves…more’s the pity.