Radical changes to housing benefit are required in order to stem the £840 million of tax payers 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 circumstances, and the type of property occupied, would be replaced by a uniform benefit for all low paid people. The report's author, Dr Peter King of De Montfort University in Leicester, says that perhaps £350 million in administrative costs and payment errors could be saved by these simplifications alone.
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