25 Jan 2011
Policy area: Residential
The property industry has welcomed the announcement by the welfare reform minister, Lord Freud, that there is to be a “comprehensive and thorough” independent review into the effects of cutting Housing Benefits.
Responding to a motion in Parliament tabled by Lord Best, Lord Freud stated: “I make a firm commitment to the House that we intend to commission independent, external research to help us evaluate the impact of the reforms”.
The announcement means government proposals subject to the review include the:
Lord Freud went on to state that other issues to be covered in the review would be homelessness, shared room rate and houses in multiple occupation and people with disabilities and working claimants.
Interim results are expected in the summer of 2012.
Ian Fletcher, director of policy for the British Property Federation, said: “We welcome this announcement and would urge government to hold off on further planned waves of reform until the interim results of the review are made available.
“By admitting that a review is needed, it would now be a gamble to proceed with further reforms until the findings of the review are clear. By accepting Lord Best’s motion the government is admitting it does not really know the likely impact of cutting housing benefits and should proceed carefully therefore.”