asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) when he proposes to publish proposals on reform of non-dependent deductions in housing benefit, as announced in paragraph 3.71 of the "Reform of Social Security: Programme for Change" (Cmnd. 9518);(2) whether he intends to bring forward proposals for minimum payments of housing benefit, following the recommendation contained in paragraph 4.23 of the report of the housing benefit review (Cmnd. 9520).
These are matters for further consideration in the light of comments during the consultative period, and on which decisions will be taken as appropriate when the basic structure of any proposals for change have been settled.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he proposes to implement the proposals to apply an income cut-off on housing benefit contained in paragraphs 3.15–3.17 of the report of the housing benefit review team (Cmnd. 9520).
We have not included an income cut-off, as suggested by the review team, in our specific proposals for reform because we recognise that it would be difficult to operate and one of our overall aims is greater simplicity of administration. We will, however, take into account any views expressed on this point during the consultation period. We do propose to introduce a capital cut-off, as indicated in paragraph 3.45 of Volume 2 of the Green Paper*.
* "Reform of Social Security: Programme for Change", Cmnd. 9518.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what assessment he made of the effect of local limits on the level of overall expenditure prior to making his proposal set out in paragraph 3.67 of Cmnd. 9518 to take reserve powers to set limits to the level of rent eligible for housing benefit; and if he will make a statement.
None. It is not possible to make any sensible estimate of the effect on overall expenditure of a reserve power.