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Housing Benefit

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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On behalf of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions I am announcing the publication of the 2002–03 third quarter's performance statistics for local authority administration of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (HB and CTB). A copy of the quarterly statistics for all local authorities in Great Britain has been placed in the library and has been published on the Department for Work and Pensions web-site at Publishing these statistics is part of our strategy for reforming Housing Benefit. It is right and proper that the public see how well or how badly their council is doing. We are using these statistics to challenge poor performance.Statistics for the third quarter of 2002–03 show that across the country performance has improved with processing of new claims dropping from an average eight weeks between July and September to seven and a half weeks in the following three months.The statistics are un-audited and are provided quarterly by local authorities to my Department.The latest annual audited Best Value performance information for English local authorities is for 2001–02 and was published by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on 12 December 2002 on the Best Value Performance Indicators website at: A copy is in the Library.

The most recent corresponding data for local authorities in Wales is for 2001–02. This is published on the Audit Commission website at A copy of the relevant extract from this site is in the Library.

The most recent corresponding data for local authorities in Scotland is also for 2001–02 and is in the Accounts Commission publication "Performance Indicators 2001–2002: Benefits, Finance and Corporate Issues", a copy of which is in the Library.