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Housing Benefit

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what tapers have been applied in calculations of entitlements to housing benefit in each of the last three years. (266318)

Entitlement to housing benefit is assessed by comparing a customer’s net income with an amount intended to cover day to day living expenses called an applicable amount. If the customer’s income is below or equal to the applicable amount, they will normally receive the maximum available help with their rent.

If the net income is above the applicable amount, a fixed taper of 65p for each pound that the income exceeds that level is applied. This means the amount of housing benefit is reduced by 65p for each pound of income above the applicable amount.

The fixed taper has been at 65p since the current housing benefit scheme was introduced in 1998.