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Local Housing Allowance: Supreme Court Ruling

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:14 am on 13th June 2019.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 11:14 am, 13th June 2019

The hon. Lady is right that LHA rates were frozen in the summer Budget in 2015 and have therefore been frozen since 2016. That was about getting our welfare bill under control. It was about ensuring that we provided the support necessary for those who needed it and fairness for those who pay for it, and making sure that our welfare system is sustainable in the long term. I can tell the hon. Lady that the freeze will end in March 2020. In all cases, the targeted affordability fund is available. We also have discretionary housing payments, and £1 billion has been made available since 2011.

Ultimately, it is a supply issue. LHA rates are one thing and supply is another. We need to look at successive Governments that have not built enough affordable—by which I mean council and social—housing. Nevertheless, the hon. Lady will be aware that I did a lot of work in this area before taking up my ministerial post. She would therefore expect me to undertake further work in post, and there will be more to come.