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New Research on Housing Benefit in the UK
As Housing Benefit claimant numbers reach a twenty year high, BSHF is publishing new research on this issue.

New research highlights how sensitive Housing Benefit expenditure is to changes in the labour market, because of the strong link between the number of people unemployed or economically inactive, and the number of claimants.

The research identifies a lag between a worsening labour market and increases in Housing Benefit claimants; the number of Housing Benefit claimants is particularly strongly linked to the state of the labour market nine months earlier. If this relationship continues the monthly Housing Benefit claimant figures could fall for several months following reduced unemployment last spring, before increasing again in the second half of this year.

The government is seeking to control Housing Benefit expenditure through measures outlined in its June 2010 Budget and October’s Spending Review. Much attention has been paid to proposals which seek to control the amount paid to each household, such as linking rent increases to the Consumer Price Index. However, the plan to reduce expenditure is also based on a gradual, but significant decrease in the number of Housing Benefit claimants. The new unemployment forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility mean that this decrease in claimant numbers appears increasingly unlikely.

Research on Housing Benefit claimant numbers
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