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

The hon. Gentleman knows that council tax benefit is not being scrapped, but being localised, with local authorities taking responsibility. He also knows perfectly well that there are clear administrative benefits associated with local authorities taking responsibility for council tax benefit alongside their housing benefit responsibilities. Like any Opposition Member who asks about this, however, he must start by recognising that we are doing this because we are in the most appalling financial mess inherited from the last Labour Government, under whom spending on council tax benefit doubled. Welfare reform is necessary. They cannot create the problem and then resist every solution.