Saturday, 28 February 2015

Councils spend £18.5bn on payments in 2010/11

Housing benefit bill rises by £1.3bn

Housing benefit spending by councils rose to £18.5bn between 2009/10 and 2010/11.

The government’s local authority revenue expenditure and financing figures, published at the end of August, showed housing benefit spending grew by £1.3bn in that time.

Housing benefit spending increased by 7.2 per cent, the largest rise of the spending areas measured by the report. Education saw the second-largest growth in spending with a 2.1 per cent rise.

Housing benefit was the third largest area of council spending after education and social care.

The amount spent by councils’ general funds on housing fell by £209m to £2.5bn between 2009/10 and 2010/11, the figures showed.

The fall was the second largest in percentage terms behind highways spending, which fell by 13.3 per cent. But the figures exclude councils’ housing revenue accounts which handle larger sums and deal with spending on and income from their stock.

The general fund pays for services like maintaining a housing register and homelessness services.

Housing services funded by local authorities’ general funds employed 787 people.

Readers' comments (49)

  • Chris

    What a shame investment in housing supply has been put off for so long - instead we waste more and more on non-returnable spending and supporting landlord profits. This is a waste in terms of money and the wasting of peoples' lives trapped in over-priced rentals.

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  • Social rents went up by about 7 per cent last time,well above inflation,as they have done every year,for the past decade.
    Then they wonder why the HB bill keeps going up,you just could not make it up. :)

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  • Melvin Bone

    Dennis. They went down in 2010 due to the low inplation rate inSpetember 2009.

    Keep up old boy.

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  • Chris

    WTF - 'P' and 'F' are almost at opposite ends of the keyboard?

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  • That's a good one Melvin,you must mean that select few properties on Fantasy Island?,rents never go down,not in real terms,or in any other way,only up.

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  • Joe Halewood

    This report is out of date.

    The latest Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE) which are the official figures reveal:

    (a) Spending on HB at May 2010 was £20.8bn
    (b) Spending on HB at May 2011 was £22.24bn

    The May 2011 figures are the latest figures and were released in mid August 2012.

    The link to the latest statistics is here: -

    Pehaps the most interesting thing these reveal is the difference between Nov 2009 when they start to May 2011. In this 30-month period the numbers of private sector tenants claiming HB has risen by 50% to 1.5m and these account for 70% or so of the overall increase.

    Why private tenants should account for 70% of the increase is one interesting line of enquiry.

    Yet the other fact they reveal by simple extrapolation is that we pay from the public purse £3.3bn per year extra for private renting over what we pay for the same number of properties if they were council properties. -

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  • Melvin Bone

    No it really happened Dennis. April 2010. Social/Council Housing Rent fell.

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  • Melvin Bone

    Chris. Thanks for the spilling cheque. It is not often I make a Miss Steak...

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  • Melvin,you know as well as I do that inflation fell,during that time,and tenants were charged,well above what they should have been,for that year,the so called fall,was just to compensate for this.
    If you take an average over two years then rents did indeed rise,and above inflation,just as they have for the past ten years.
    So what I said still holds true.

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  • Chris

    You may find this interesting Melvin because whilst what you say is correct in theory (and I'm sure some areas had a zero increase) the calculation for RPI eventually came to -0.9%, so that RPI + 1% was able to be a positive increase. The attached also explains how negative subsidy is reached and treated, as it is expected over future years to be more and more the norm.

    This item also shows how, on the fact of it, you were right to believe in fairies:

    Dennis / Melvin - you are both correct(ish)

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