Further to yesterday's blog, today's headline news is 26 billion pounds is being paid out in housing benefit, remarkably similar figures eh? Of course the government is putting it down to fraud by those nasty little low paid people!
Housing benefit is managed by both the department and local authorities. The DWP sets policy, entitlement rules and shares data and guidance with councils, which undertake day-to-day administration and pay claimants. Authorities then reclaim payments from the department.
Housing benefit goes to five million households on low incomes. Total payments in 2013-14 were £23.9bn. This included £900m in overpayments due to claimant error, £340m due to fraud and £150m due to errors by officials.
When the current population of low paid workers are finally given proper full time work as they were in before 2008, then this problem will solve itself.