Housing Benefit: What the government ought to do – but won't

Type: Reports Written by Dr Peter King | Wednesday 22 November 2000

Synopsis: Radical changes to housing benefit are required in order to stem the £840 millon of tax payer's money lost annually to fraud and error, and to make the housing market fairer and more responsive to the needs of tenants. Housing benefit should be taken out of the hands of local authorities, and instead paid out by social security offices along with income support. Today's very complicated payment rates, which depend on the tenant's rent level, family circumtances,and the type of property occupied; would be replaced by a uniform benefit for all low paid people. The report's author, housing expert Dr Peter King of DeMontford university in Leicester, says that prehaps £350 million in adminastrative cost and payment errors could be saved by there simplifications alone.

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