A family from Somalia recently living in Coventry have taken advantage of Housing Benefit rules to climb up the housing ladder into a £2m double-fronted Victorian home in fashionable West Hampstead, close to the homes of Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson and celebrity broadcaster Stephen Fry.
Unemployed Mr Khaliif and his wife claim not to be able to speak English so were unavailable to provide the Telegraph with a comment on the £2,000 per week rental bill they have claimed from taxpayers. For comparison, the latest median average earnings figure for full time employees is £499 per week while the part time figure is £153 per week.
The highly desirable period property, which was described by estate agents as a “stunning six bedroom house with two receptions recently refurbished to a high standard” was bought by the current owner in 2008 for £1,480,000. House prices in prime London locations have risen since then. The detached home, situated in the London Borough of Camden, also boasts a “spacious en suite master bedroom”.
The Coalition introduced new rules in April capping Housing Benefit at £400 a week. It is thought that Mr Khaliif moved into the extravagant home before they came into effect. TaxPayers’ Alliance director Matthew Sinclair told BBC News in July that uncapped benefits are unfair (above).
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said:
New rules came into force in April. As their claims come up for renewal people on housing benefit will have to make the same choices as people in work about where they can afford to live.
The implementation of the new rules cannot come too soon, both for the benefit of the government’s vast budget deficit and to end the most shockingly grotesque examples of benefits extravagance.