Friday, 28 August 2009

Citizens Advice response to Frank Field MP’s motion to oppose the Government’s plans to alter the rules on LHA

Citizens Advice Head of Welfare Policy, Lizzie Iron said:

“Under current LHA rules, claimants can keep up to £15 of their benefit, if the LHA rate is higher than the rent they pay. This allows for choice, encourages fairer rents and rewards careful spending. Plans to remove this excess are ill thought-out, and risk having a considerable impact on levels of poverty without delivering any real savings to the DWP budget. Removing the £15 excess provision removes any incentive for tenants to shop around, and encourages landlords to charge up to the maximum allowance.

“We very much hope that DWP withdraws this proposal, or at the very least postpones it until sufficient data is available to make a full impact assessment, and the consequent impact on landlord and tenant behaviour has been fully explored.

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