HC Deb 19 November 2001 vol 375 cc148-9W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his plans are to reform housing benefit. [8970]

Malcolm Wicks

Our first priority has been to work with local authorities to drive up administrative standards, tackle fraud and error and improve work incentives.

The Department's response to consultation on the Housing Green Paper, "Quality and Choice: A decent home for all—The way forward for housing" (December 2000), set out a wide-ranging package of measures to help improve service delivery and streamline the system making Housing Benefit easier for councils to administer and those in need to claim.

For the longer term we intend to ensure that, for people of working age, Housing Benefit strengthens work incentives further. We will work with wider housing reforms to make Housing Benefit part of a system that encourages choice, responsibility and fairness.

Forward to