On what could be her last day in office, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has said a reassessment of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) should be a priority with the benefit freeze thawed.
Rudd reinforced her stance on the freeze when appearing before the Commons Work and Pensions Committee today (24th July).
As reported by 24housing, Rudd wants an end to the benefit freeze guaranteed, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
She told the committee that with the freeze thawed the emphasis should be on a fresh look at the application of LHA – and related work on the scope for support from the private rented sector.
Last week, an all party parliamentary group went after LHA, saying the impact of the 30% cap, the benefits freeze, and rents rising faster than inflation sees the value of LHA falling even faster than other benefits – to cover just 3% of rents in some parts of the country.
This means most Universal Credit (UC) claimants have to make up a shortfall of rent out of their UC payment, and in many cases this shortfall is between £100 and £200 a month, making it impossible for them to get by.
Instead, the group said, benefits should rise by 2% above inflation for each of the next four years in order to restore their value to 2015 levels – with a minimum standard of income for benefits claimants that should be assessed and implemented by the DWP for all elements of UC.