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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Housing Benefit

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Housing Benefit on 10th July 1986.


Mr. Raynsford Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Coventry, South-East of 25 June, Official Report, columns 209-10, which of the objectives for the revised housing benefit subsidy arrangements were considered by his Department not to be met by the proposal to restrict direct subsidy to 80 per cent. of benefit expenditure.

Mr. Major As I explained in my reply to the hon. Member for Coventry, South-East (Mr. Nellist), the proposal to include 20 per cent. of benefit costs in the rate support grant arrangements did not meet our objectives of providing an adequate incentive for authorities to control costs and a fair level of support for expenditure they properly incur.

Mr. Alton Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will list in the Official Report a borough breakdown of moneys paid to landlords on behalf of public and private tenants in housing benefit during 1985-86; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what is the highest individual weekly sum currently paid to a landlord in housing benefit;

(3) what percentage of the sum paid in housing benefit during 1985-86 was paid to private landlords;

(4) how many domestic hereditaments owned by private landlords house tenants in receipt of housing benefits.

Mr. Major We do not collect information on direct payments of housing benefit to landlords, or on the number of dwellings owned by private landlords which are occupied by tenants in receipt of housing benefit. In 1985-86, an estimated £780 million was paid in rent allowances (including those paid direct to the landlord, but excluding in all cases any expenditure classified as rate rebates) for around 1.2 million private tenants. This represented about 17 per cent. of total housing benefit expenditure.

Mr. Alton Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he intends to send a reply to the letter of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill, of 15 May on housing benefit and to which he said on 2 July, Official Report, column 1040, he had signed a reply.

Mr. Major I have written to the hon. Member.