HC Deb 27 April 1998 vol 311 cc18-9
7. Mr. Crispin Blunt (Reigate)

What are the terms of reference of her Department's review of housing benefit. [38496]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security (Mr. Keith Bradley)

Housing benefit is under consideration in the housing comprehensive spending review. The full terms of reference for the housing review were included in the press release issued by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on 24 July, which covered all the reviews being undertaken by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Copies of the press release have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Mr. Blunt

Earlier this afternoon, in reply to a supplementary question on Question 3 by the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood), the Under-Secretary gave the illuminating reply that the housing benefit review would be published as soon as it was completed. I wonder whether, without being intrusive, I may press the Under-Secretary a little more. Will the review be completed by July this year, or some time next year? Will Under-Secretary be a little more specific than "as soon as it is completed"?

Mr. Bradley

It would be extremely difficult to publish it before it was completed, but we shall complete it later this year.