Friday, August 28, 2009

Housing allowance cuts

If this is true… well, I just hope it isn’t.

Gordon Brown is facing a Labour revolt over plans to cut the benefits of the poorest families by up to £15 a week…
Proposals to be implemented next April, a month before a general election, could mean some people losing a fifth of their income. … At the moment 300,000 people on low incomes are allowed to keep up to £780 a year of their housing allowance if they find accommodation that costs less than the maximum benefit.
The Treasury says that the policy costs too much and that the ability to pocket any surplus should be scrapped from April 1. …
The [allowance] was introduced to give tenants greater control over their housing arrangements by paying the rent themselves, and the option to trade quality for extra cash.
The Government believes that abolishing the policy will save £160 million, but Labour MPs point out that the removal of competition means that landlords will raise rents to the allowance maximum. Landlords have been pressing for the change because they want rent to go directly to them.

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