Gloria de Piero, MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire recently requested a summary of the number of people who receive housing benefits and who are also in privately rented accommodation.
MP Piero’s comments specifically requested information for the number of claimants in privately rented accommodation in: (A) her constituency of Ashfield (B) Nottinghamshire (C) the East Midlands and (D) England as a whole.
In response she was directed to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) programme ‘Stat-Xplore’ which is a ‘tabulation tool [that] allows you to download and customise DWP statistics’, according to the initial DWP release from June 2011.
The tabulation tool has a set of pre-defined tables within the system that is available to registered users, but it also provides users with the ability to modify the tables themselves; a handy tool as numbers are available for England, Wales, Scotland, and Great Britain.
Users can download spreadsheets of the unique numbers they may wish to generate with the ability to view results in interactive charts. The true strength comes in the ability to designate numbers from Great Britain as a whole down to local authority levels.
Information on benefits ranges from November 2008 all the way to May 2013, providing a substantial time scale and level of depth that could prove to house important and reliable information. The user is presented a graph of ‘Housing Benefit Claimants over time’ when they first log in, with an interactive ‘point-to-point’ line graph dating from November 2008 to May 2013. This creates a striking representation of claimants throughout the UK and an introduction to what the system can offer.
The tabulation tool is backed-up with a User Guide to help invested stakeholders make the most of the programme.