Headline grabbing cuts to housing benefit will do little to resolve problems with welfare spending
Barely making a dent
The plan announced at the Conservative Party conference this week to cut housing benefit for under-25s was, by and large, warmly received by delegates in Birmingham.
There is a clear feeling among party members that more must be done to alter the attitudes of the public towards welfare support such as housing benefit.
As the chief executives of the housing associations which were represented at the event continually repeated, social landlords find it ‘impossible’ to argue with welfare reform. However, they all pointed out the flaws in plans to cut a further £10 billion from the welfare budget, such as increased rent arrears and the effect this would have on their development capacity.
If universal welfare support is to be maintained for pensioners and capital investment in new social homes is to remain low with the affordable rent regime in its place, the £23 billion housing benefit will continue to rise. A cut of £1.88 billion for under-25s will make little difference.