Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Housing Benefit on 14th April 1986.
Mr. Alton Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total amount paid in housing benefit via local authorities to claimants during 1985.
Mr. Major Information about housing benefit expenditure is available only on the basis of financial years. Latest estimates available from local authorities subsidy claims indicate that authorities paid £4.2 billion in housing benefit in the year ending 31 March 1985 and £4.6 billion in the year ending 31 March 1986.
Mr. Alton Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the administration of the housing benefit system.
Mr. Major We believe that there is scope for improvement in the housing benefits scheme and its administration. Our proposals for reform include measures to simplify the system and to encourage and assist authorities to run the scheme as efficiently as possible.