Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:31 am on 31st January 2013.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley The Leader of the House of Commons 10:31 am, 31st January 2013

I do not recall whether the hon. Gentleman was able to be at the recent oral questions on these matters, but, having listened to those oral questions, my recollection was that Ministers completely understood the issue. It is very simple: the rate of increase of housing benefit had become unsustainable and, at the same time, there has been a dramatic increase in the demand for social housing, as all Members of Parliament know. There is a real need to ensure that social housing is used as effectively as possible to meet housing need, and the combination of those circumstances means that there is every reason to have an incentive and, if necessary, a requirement for people not to under-occupy the housing that they live in.