Welfare reform: Housing Benefit / Council Tax Benefit

Certain regulations within the current framework are completely non-sensical (if one's primary goal is to save money from the welfare budget).

 

Take for example the case of a 'non-dependent' adult residing with immediate family.

Should said family be in receipt of benefits themselves they are penalised by a sum of, if I recall correctly, not less than £10 per week, per person for a 'non-dependent' on nil income to the minimum guaranteed by JSA, and raising thereafter in line with the non-dependent's earnings (if working) (link)

Similarly, even if they would be otherwise eligble, said 'non-dependent' is treated as 'dependent' (i.e. living as part of the family) for the purposes of housing benefit, and is inelligible to receive assistance with their lodgings.

This is both blatantly unfair and, given the alternative (i.e. paying benefit to the host family and paying benefit to the 'non-dependent' in his/her own accomodation) financially unsound.

Rather than penalise parents, for example, who's adult children can't afford anything on the private market and would be inelligible for council housing (leave the parental home, you've made yourself 'deliberately homeless') I would call for the host family to be rewarded for saving the council hundreds of pounds in benefits payements every week!

For working non-dependents who would otherwise be eligible for housing benefit: remove the penalty from the host family.

For unemployed non-dependents, remove the penalty and reward them with a portion (10%?) of the applicable single room rate (or a flat amount).

Why does this idea matter?

A person is either dependent or non-dependent on others – it is manifestly unfair to categorise one way for one piece of legislation, and differently for another.

For having the audacity to save their local councils thousands of pounds every year, parents across the country are being penalised by quite extornionate amounts (in relation to the sums the 'non-dependent' is assumed to be contrinbuting to their income).

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