Lib Dems commit to spare room subsidy reform

The Liberal Democrats have said they plan to significantly reform spare room subsidy rules.

The plans will see those already in the social rented sector only lose their benefit if they are offered a suitable smaller home and turn it down.

It would also permanently exempt disabled adults who need a spare room or who live in substantially adapted homes.

It comes after a government report published this week showed changes to how housing benefit is paid are not delivering the outcomes we had hoped despite Discretionary Housing Payments.

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Commenting Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said:

As a Liberal Democrat I want everyone to have the opportunity to have a secure and decent home.

“We brought in changes to how housing benefit is calculated in the social housing sector with the best of intentions.

“However, a recent report shows people are having to cut back on household essentials despite the help offered through Discretionary Housing Payments.

“Therefore, we have reviewed our position so only those already in the social rented sector who turn down suitable smaller homes will see a reduction in their benefit.  These commitments will be in the Lib Dem manifesto and we will push for it as government policy right away.

“This change, combined with a commitment to build 300,000 houses a year in the next Parliament, will build on the progress we have already made to address Britain’s housing problem.”


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