Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne has said that as the government's emergency fund runs out even more people will be pushed in to debt over the 'bedroom tax'.
Mr Byrne said: "It is very early days and that's why these figures are so shocking because the policy has only been in place five months one in three people are in debt.
"Now what's going to happen over the next few months is that the government's emergency fund is going run out, people's personal resources are going to run out and so this figure is only going to get worse."
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson has defended the spare room subsidy, as the 'bedroom tax' is official known, saying that it is fairer to those on housing benefit.
The removal of the spare room subsidy is a necessary reform to return fairness to housing benefit. Even after the reform we pay over 80% of most claimants' housing benefit - but the taxpayer can no longer afford to pay for people to live in properties larger than they need. It is right that people contribute to these costs, just as private renters do.
It is just wrong to suggest the early stages of the policy - as people start to adjust to the changes - represent long-term trends in any way whatsoever. We are carefully monitoring the policy nationally ensuring the extra funds given to councils to support vulnerable tenants are used well as these changes are introduced.