On reforming the welfare system in the United Kingdom in the 21st Century, there is the fundamental requirement for logical decision making. The consequences of key policies implemented over the course of successive governments, have failed to build a fairer society whereby the poor are enfranchised and lifted out of poverty, where those who work have been permitted to retain additional percentiles of their income that they worked long and hard for.
With reference to the question of Housing Benefit – a highly topical and relevant issue. The principles that I hold on this issue & the decisions that I would advocate should be taken in order to affect a solution. Social housing rents that are scheduled to be reduced by 1% by George Osborne, should be reduced by 25% because cutting social rent, charged by Councils and Housing Associations would simultaneously reduce the cost of Housing Benefit to the taxpayer (according to recent statistics) estimated at £36bn a year. If rent costs are reduced resulting in a reduction in housing benefit which consequently means lower welfare spending by the State. This ultimately will enable the State to allocate more money to other public services, lower taxes or a combination of these two things.
Reforming Housing Benefit would have no negative impact on those who paid low wages as the rent burden for those workers would have been reduced. The cheaper rents would be achieved through the statutory use of social housing rent controls. The reduction in rent costs in Council Housing, also have the additional incentive that is abolishing the Bedroom Tax. The Discretionary Housing Payments made by Local Councils, in relation to the bedroom tax issue would become obsolete as rents were reduced and bedroom tax disputes became invalidated. Savings in Discretionary Housing Benefit would further entrench sound public finances and would contribute to the tax reductions that will be outlined in later articles.
A 25% reduction in Social Housing Rents is not a subsidy it is a cost neutral mechanism of saving the taxpayer billions in Housing Benefit. It would abolish the Bedroom Tax that has failed to produce the outcomes that it was created to achieve. The savings that I would intend to find in Housing Benefit would be £5bn per year. In steering this country to a lower tax future, the Personal Income Tax Allowance would be increased by £1,000 extra. The 25% reduction in social rents would progress over 5 years to 50% further reducing housing benefit and transforming the living standards of the working classes and reducing the tax burden of the nation at large.