Let’s Rename Housing Benefit more fairly as “Landlord Bonus”. 116

So-called “Housing benefit” is of zero benefit to tenants. It is a massive flow of taxpayer cash to landlords – an incredible £25 billion per year. It plays a pivotal role in the growth of landlordism and the bubbling of house prices to well beyond the pockets of most young people.

It is argued on the right of politics that rent controls would be an unwarranted interference that would distort the housing market and prevent it operating efficiently. Yet housing benefit is itself a massive distortion, allowing landlords to charge rents far beyond what the market would ordinarily bear. If the state is to pay or top-up rents in this way, the state must also have a right to interfere in the level of rents.

For the sake of clarity of argument, I do not regard “Housing Associations” as anything but part of the landlord class, especially given the high salaries they pay their executives.

Both Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith have recently argued for a rent control solution – and in Jeremy Corbyn’s case he believes it. That would certainly be a vast improvement on the present situation. But my own view is that it is illogical to boost rents by a massive transfer of taxpayer cash to landlords by housing benefit, and then seek a second mechanism to control them.

Housing benefit should simply be abolished. The results would be the collapse of the buy to let market and the bankruptcy of some of the least lovely people in the country, a crash in rents, and the pricking of the UK’s property bubble, where homes are priced in much of the UK at 8 to 12 times average salary.

The abolition would need to be accompanied by a one year moratorium on all evictions until the market settles down and rents can be renegotiated. I do not rule out rent controls as part of the new arrangements to govern the market.

It is worth pointing out that as housing benefit is taken from general taxation, and as London accounts for an obscenely disproportionate percentage of housing benefit paid, it represents yet another hidden area where London sucks the wealth from the rest of the country.

Housing benefit is not actually a “benefit” to the needy at all. Have you ever wondered why the Tories make zero concerted efforts to cut this “benefit”, when they are so keen on driving disabled people to suicide and sanctioning the unemployed?

It is because housing “benefit” is the UK’s biggest con, a direct subsidy from the taxpayers to the very wealthy.

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116 thoughts on “Let’s Rename Housing Benefit more fairly as “Landlord Bonus”.

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  • ginger

    In your country it’s a housing choice voucher.or section 8 or public housing.we pay a third of our monthly income and the state sends the rest to the landlord.I couldn’t live anywhere but the street on my disability, landlord s charge up the yang yang I call greed rents are exorbitant and it’s just way over the top and then you have slum lords that don’t maintain there properties and don’t fix when things are broken all I know if I had the money I would build little neighborhoods of tiny house where housing could be attainable for anyone.I know you have to get them approved and all that crap but in blighted neighborhoods improve the living of them and make them safe and drive out hoodlums that destroy them.but that’s just me rents are way to high all over the country

  • Penny

    In reading this article, i’m probably somewhat a little shocked at some of the things written here. I’ve had many years of experience in dealing with councils, housing associations, tenants – both professional and housing benefit tenants. I’m not saying all Landlords, but many are unable to charge higher rents – as many local housing authorities set a limit for single persons under and over 35 years old. Many tenants i’m also afraid to say have never had bank accounts, and therefore unfortunately are unable to handle their own affairs. Some have been homeless, and have never had more than £5 in their bank account. The argument lies where – if for whatever a reason, given unfortunate or not that a person has to claim housing benefit, or any money from the state for a purpose such as their rent – then there is nothing wrong with that money being paid directly to that landlord. Technically that money isn’t the tenants, it’s being given because of their circumstances of living in a house (and not on the streets – as no one i know wants to be homeless) Tenants are shown tenancy agreements with their rent on, and its the same with council houses… If housing benefit was abolished completely – then be prepared for many folk to be out there on the streets – as hostels are neither large enough to support them – and also not the safest place to go. Unless, that is those folk would like to go out and get a job working somewhere. Given the talk over the last few months especially – peoples attitudes on ‘immigrants…’ Complaining all their jobs have been taken by them – well – they want to work, and they’re willing to do anything to support their families. I don’t care where someone comes from – as long as they’re working and contributing. If they didn’t have the housing benefit – some would not be able to afford all the wealths that housing benefit currently gives them. On the other side of the coin – Ive seen situations where minimum wage has simply not paid enough for it to benefit someone to go and work. We can’t all have our cake and eat it….
    Whatever people think of Landlords, they’re needed throughout the whole country. Housing associations rely on them to home alsorts of people who need social workers, or carers – as well as to build private homes throughout the country. As much as this article paints the Landlord as the ‘big bad wolf’ evil or not – they’re needed to provide those who need housing. There are people who do absolutely rely on housing benefit to have a roof over their heads, feed their families – and yet I’ve seen local housing authorities leave tenants (because sometimes they can take up to two months to process or deal with a claim) with no cash to put food on the table. No one shouts out about the big bad local housing authorities….. nope – just those stinking horrible landlords….. Don’t get me wrong, not all Landlords are great- but you know what – you’d find in every profession, there are decent people and not so decent people. Just like professional working tenants where they will pay a few months rent, and then not pay for months on end. That’s the nature of the game – and its the roulette Landlords decide to take on. Where also do people think housing benefit comes from…? How do people think money is raised by the state to give to local housing authorities?? It comes from those in the country – who work, and pay their taxes to good old HMRC (if earning over a certain amount corporation tax is 20%), and that is given to the taxpayer….and hello housing benefit for a tenant.
    I’m not saying the system is perfect – because i’d certainly love to pay a lot LESS tax….but if we’re not careful, all those wonderful tax payers (including those terrible landlords…..) will one day up and leave the country – and then quite a few folk would probably be up s*&t creek….

  • wallofcontroversy

    Presuming that a private landlord is acting fairly (obviously many don’t) then they are in the business of hire. They are simply hiring out houses rather than holiday cottages, or cars, or wedding dresses, or whatever. So what’s the big deal? The trick here is to deflect attention from where it really matters on to a considerably lesser evil. Away from the disastrous non-productive and largely criminal activities of the financiers, and the large scale rentier economy, and on to the relative small guy who owns a couple of extra houses as an investment – perhaps their alternative to a pension scheme – which given today’s financial instability combined with close to zero interest rates, is one of the few remaining ways of securing any income from any investment. Unless that is you happen to own a gold mine somewhere in Africa, of course?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I don’t own a gold mine in Africa*, so maybe I can comment on that. It is of course the big financiers, whose income derives from creating and selling debt, who benefit most from pumping up the price of housing. Whether the landlord is Joe Soap, with a spare house, living in the community, or Ravi Patel, who owns a high-rise formerly in council ownership, and operates it via a letting agency from his office in Delhi. (Don’t get me started on letting agencies…) I have sympathy for small landlords – I’ve had very good ones – and of course if they have a marketable product, they should market it. But that’s not the point. If housing benefit were removed tomorrow, there would be hundreds of thousands on the street.

      The rental on half-decent accommodation is simply unaffordable by a huge section of society – that includes the waged, btw, and it’s not their fault that their wages are shit, it’s the best they can get – without subsidy. Now, if you get housing benefit, you don’t see a penny of it yourself. It goes to the landlord to cover the difference between what he thinks he should be getting and what you can realistically pay (which, if you are on other benefits as well, is probably nothing) The landlord is physically letting his property to a poor person. But financially, he’s letting his property to the State.

      I’ve just had this idea. It’s called social housing. The State lets out its own property at near-cost to those who can afford it (many) and takes a hit on this near-cost rent not being paid by the poorest. This is a lot cheaper than paying subsidy to a private landlord, the mortgager who has a lien on his property and the letting agent, in addition to providing the required 5% annual investment bonus due entirely to demand exceeding supply of housing. On behalf of more people.

      *Getting past the stereotype, I really wouldn’t invest in a small gold mine. The margins are usually insanely small.

    • philw

      I actually feel sorry for the little BTL landlords, at least those outside London who have bought into it in the last few years. Those persuaded to ‘invest’ their savings in a deposit on a hugely expensive property. Given the size of the mortgage, and all the unexpected overheads, I think many struggle to pay the bills from the rent received, even though the amount may seem huge to the tenant. Profit or loss depends on property prices.

      People assume they cant go wrong investing in property. But the reason construction firms are so reluctant to build at the moment is that they see a fall in property prices coming, and dont want to be left with unsaleable stock on their hands. When the fall comes, a lot of small investors in BTL are going to see negative equity – all their savings wiped out. Ironically, we could see a fair few become homeless.

      Labour needs to propose a mechanism to take over housing stock where landlords have gone bust, and ensure tenancies continue.

      • philw

        Not to mention what would happen if interest rates have to rise. Even if mortgage rates rose to 5%, that is still £10K pa on a 200K house (interest only mortgage), which is a modest house these days.

        • glenn_uk

          Shhurely everyone would have fully taken this into account upon taking on a mortgage?

  • Daveo

    Mr Murray, You’re back. Thank the holy f*cking f*ck for that. I can’t think of a time when your perspicacity was more warranted. Please keep up the good work, as ever. You have been sorely missed these past few days.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    100% agree (though with strong reservations as to the fate of the unhoused after your proposal’s carried out. With poor tenants a glut on the market, the response of the buy-to-letters would to pack them ten to a room – as they do for migrant labour) . Perversely, housing benefit runs counter to free market principles. However, no-one’s going to risk bursting the housing bubble. The generation of fictitious wealth by the mere existence of property is crucial to our illusion of growth and hence our ability to create more debt and the economic model needs to be radically revised before anything of the sort can happen.

    There is no sign of Corbyn, Smith, Sturgeon or anyone else being able, or indeed willing, to do this, although there are increasing numbers of economists, some of them reputable, who are beginning to realise the unsustainability of the current system.

    • nevermind

      Yep, and here we are back at the Victorian workhouse, Ba’al, were most of your wage, should you earn one, is being kept so you can sleep on your mattress in a room with others.
      Houses are to live in, not to speculate with. These armies of estate agents, financial advisers, banks, building societies, builders holding large land banks for speculative purposes, will need shaking up, but as you said, who is going to do that? this illusion of taking back control seems to mean the crystallisation of establishment, status quo manipulative powers, to control all over and above the dirty masses, forever.

      Could Corbyn Sturgeon and Lucas make a start by coming up with an agreed plan at the next GE? I doubt it as well, it might take more than just a political upheaval.

      • nevermind

        UNSUSTAINABILITY is the word that underlines every problem we have and the elaborate means we choose to deal with them.
        Unless we have a sustainable financial system there is no way we can have a society that is sustainable, we have to start valueing what keeps us alive, real assets, not a pile of bricks which represent the old extortion, designed to increase the rift between rich and poor.

      • michael norton

        Even if you had a few quid to save for the deposit on a flat, you would not make any income from your deposit, hardly anybody saves now, not even pensioners, only thing to do with your money is spend it on mind blowing cider, or drugs.

        Millions of savers have been left “devastated” by further cuts in interest rates during August, according to analysis from Moneyfacts.

        The average easy access rate fell below 0.5% for the first time, while cash Isa rates fell below 1%.

        It follows the Bank of England’s decision to cut base rates by 0.25% on 4 August, with the expectation of further cuts if necessary.

  • Loony

    I am afraid you are wrong. Housing benefit is a direct subsidy from the taxpayer to the terminally insolvent.

    Nobody cares how much money a landlord may make or how much misery may be inflicted on the poor.- the idea is to inflate the “value” of the housing stock thus allowing banks to inflate the “value” of their collateral and hence give the impression of solvency.

    Housing benefit and housing costs in general are merely a symptom of the disease. The disease being an attempt to transfer all wealth into the hands of a tiny minority. It is pointless to blame landlords or governments. The real culprits are the mass of the population who did nothing and stood idly by and watched this policy being implemented in 2008.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Long before 2008, Loony. Thatcher’s sale of council housing was part of the conscious and deliberate initiation of the bubble economy, perpetuated with enthusiasm by Blair.

    • Old Mark

      Fair point Loony- Craig and several commenters also appear not to be up to speed on how HB is currently administered; it is now only paid directly to landlords if the tenant is ‘vulnerable’ (ie has learning or mental health difficulties) or has already accrued 2 months rent arrears.

      Having said that, the underlying assumption that HB is a racket isn’t too far from the truth. The ‘terminally insolvent’ in the UK,as Loony refers to them, have, for over 40 years (since Peter Walker introduced ‘Fair Rents’ as Environment Sec in 1972) got used to having their housing costs indemnified in full- first via 100% rent rebates and, since 1983, via Housing Benefit. This has always been one of the most pernicious aspects of the ‘poverty trap’. Then in 1989 Thatcher liberalised the private rented market, by removing the powers of the Rent Officer service to set rents in that sector, and by the mid 90s expenditure on HB had skyrocketed, with private landlords soaking up the benefit like blotting paper. Latterly, housing associations have also been getting in on the act, setting rents at the top end of what is officially deemed ‘affordable’- all to the cost of the taxpayer funding the HB bill.

      HB in effect has inflated rental values, and therefore the value of residential property more generally, thereby distorting investment decisions made by potential landlords, and investment patterns in the UK economy as a whole. It has also, by removing any awareness on the part of the ‘terminally insovent’ that they have some responsibility to meeting their own housing costs (at least until the hated imposition -outside Scotland- of the ‘bedroom tax’) made the complete abolition of this benefit (even with an evictions moratorium as Craig suggests) very difficult to implement.

  • Ronnie Pollock

    As an accidental landlord who had to move home but couldn’t afford to sell due to negative equity, I agree that HB is a failure.
    However the idea that there be 12 month pause on evictions while HB is phased out is unwise.
    Currently if an HB tenant decides to stop paying rent they can and do continue to collect HB by telling a few well chosen and well timed dibs. The eviction process is long and costly, for the landlord not the tenant. A moratorium would mean tenants not paying rent for a couple of years.
    By all means end HB. I charge a below market rent and can always let my property but anyone with an HB tenant in their property when such a move was introduced would be as well just handing their keys back to the bank.

  • Kevin Sargent

    Whilst on the subject can we rename “Child Benefit” as “I-phone Benefit”

  • Phil Ex Frog

    I do not regard “Housing Associations” as anything but part of the landlord class”

    That’s the truth. The way the NHF behaved over the Housing Bill, big HAs sold councils down the river, was terrible.

    • Dude Swheatie of the Kilburn Unemployed

      Linked to that is the matter of right-to-buy enshrined in the Housing & Planning Act 2016. Due to leaflet headline space, that Act is generally reduced in name to ‘Housing Act’. ‘Housing & Planning Act’ has a lot more scope for becoming ‘Evictions & Scheming Act’.

      “Right to Buy has stimulated the post-deregulation rent seeking culture. ” Source: “IT’S THE LAND ECONOMY STUPID”: Time for sustainable land markets in the public interest — Taxpayers Against Poverty blog post by Revd Paul Nicolson

  • Phil Ex Frog

    Sieze, and turn over to public housing, all buildings sat empty for 6 months+. That’ll solve the housing crisis almost immediately.

    • Phil Ex Frog

      Better still:

      Sieze, and turn over to housing co-operatives, all buildings, public or private, sat empty for 3 months+.

  • Julie Reynolds

    I think it is wrong with the government because a lot of people who don’t or can’t work and have children how they going to live.my self I use to be a carer but my illness stop me I can’t .I naw 60 so how will that me in the future . the people who have not worked or they are is not legal they get it sorry just say what on my mind.

  • Dude Swheatie of the Kilburn Unemployed

    Community Care magazine blogger Mike McNabb’s services were dispensed with shortly into the era of the Con-Dem coalition. His Outside Left ‘social policy’ blog still contains a real treasury of information and insight including a blog post highlighting how the Daily Mail’s obsession with attacking asylum seekers and refugees detracted attention from the malpractice of profiteering landlords. In the blog post entitled Asylum seekers’ £2m home: but who’s playing the system? McNabb noted:

    “The Daily Mail (who else?) has found a family of asylum seekers living in a property it apparently deems worthy of better sorts.

    “And its investigative powers, sometimes known as its not-so-hidden agenda, have unearthed some neighbours appalled at the presence of the Somalians in their midst and want them evicted.

    “The Mail reports that former Red Cross worker Abdi Nur, his wife and seven children have moved from the less salubrious Brent district in London to the glitzier environs of Notting Hill – the £2,000 a week rent paid, naturally, at the taxpayers’ expense…..”

    McNabb concluded that July 2010 blog post:

    “What we should be more concerned about – because the Mail evidently is not – is the doubling of the rent from £1,050 last year to the maximum available now under housing benefit rules.

    “The landlord, a company based in the British Virgin Islands,is not named in the report. Neither is anyone questioned about the hiking of the rent, which seems to have coincided with the arrival of Abdi Nur and his family.

    “So who is playing the system now?”

    Yet the obsession of Britain’s right wing mass media with portraying vulnerable people as ‘parasites’ has led to an under-reporting of what happens to people allowed to stay in the UK with ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) and operates as a backdrop to, say, the heartless deportation of a 77-year-old with Parkinsons disease, a deportation that would deprive them the right to end their days surrounded by loving family members in the UK.

    And people in the UK have heard far more about ‘skivers’ than they have of benefit sanctions deaths.

  • Anon1

    Supply and demand is the only game in town, yet
    90 comments in and not one of you has seen fit to question the wisdom of importing almost the equivalent in population of a city the size of Bristol EVERY SINGLE YEAR !!!

    • glenn_uk

      Fair point – it’s not as if the country is getting any bigger.

      We should start to seriously frown on people having large families too, whatever their religious delusions. Support based on family size should be ended – look at the disastrous Speenhamland system. If you want to have 4, 5, 10 kids – that should be your responsibility, not everyone else’s. But even if you can afford it – especially if you can, in fact – the ecological weight of growing a person through to old age is immense in the first world.

      Meanwhile, it appears that several thousand people have drowned, out of well over 100K that made it to Europe this year so far alone, thanks to Merkel’s personal and undiscussed invitation to the third world to risk all, and come to settle in Europe.

    • michael norton

      Anno 1

      Can I be the one to question importing 400,000 people a year.

      The Conservative / LibDem government pledged to bring immigration down to the tens of thousands.

      This must surely be on of their most glaring failures.

  • Doug Scorgie

    michael norton
    August 31, 2016 at 12:56

    “…hardly anybody saves now, not even pensioners…”

    Not much of an earner these days.

    Some central banks have called for (and some adopted) negative interest rates. (Sweden, Switzerland, Japan). Savers have to pay for the bank to hold their money.

    How long will it be before the Us or UK follow suit?

    More worrying is a suggestion by some to abolition paper money so that all money is kept in banks electronically (and not stuffed under mattresses).

    A banking dictatorship over people’s rights to their own money?

    • glenn_uk

      Outliers are testing this theory more often these days. Negative interest rates (but not on overdrafts, ‘natch!). Expiry dates on banknotes, anyone? Spend, spend, spend, folks! That’s what you need to do these days – it’s Official. Forget the advice from bygone days, when they didn’t know a thing, and advised sensible people on the merits of hard work, thrift, and preparing for old age and hard times. No – you need to spend money on goods made in far-east sweatshops, and keep the billionaire class happy now. Right now.

      If the one-sided “negative interest rates” ever do take hold, it will be like every Xmas come at once for burglars, for fairly obvious reasons.

      Perhaps if the government would stop being quite so obliging, printing money by the £Trillion and handing it to the banks at zero interest, they might actually have to provide incentives for savers. As it is, they borrow money for nothing from the government (i.e. US), and lend it back to us at enormous profit.

      Happy days are here again! At least, for the investor class. Mind you, they never actually went away.

      • michael norton

        I’d like to know when did we stop making stuff in Britain.
        make all our stuff.

        Why are the CHINESE now the biggest “investors” in the NORTH SEA ( whilst paying no tax)
        I went to see about purchasing a new bicycle, yesterday, in the next village to me.
        I liked the look of one bike and asked the shopkeeper where it was made, TAIWAN.
        He also said 90% of all bikes sold in Britain were made in Taiwan.
        Didn’t we invent the bicycle, the pneumatic inner tube, the steam engine, the jet engine, the hovercraft,
        Calculus, television, the World Wide Web.

        We will be come slaves to international financiers/fraudsters if they cancel actual money.
        On the wireless, just now, they were saying people still use cheques ( so do I, mainly out of stuborness)
        moving to contactless cards, ( you do notice even know your money is slipping away from u)
        however, in the United Kingdom,
        cash money is still king.
        The banksters would like to cancel cheques, I expect they would be keen for most transactions to become seamless,
        cut out their staff.
        Years ago, as usual, I went up to the council office to pay my council tax by cheque, with my council paying in booklet,
        the “facility” had been shut.
        No face to face interaction, no more shouting about how unreasonable the amount was.
        Now, you cannot even send a cheque to the council for your council tax, it has to be paid through “intermediaries”

        this cuts out the possibility of you telling them you feel you are being robbed.

  • glenn_uk

    Letter to a newspaper:

    No woman in a burqa (or a hijab or a burkini) has ever done me any harm. But I was sacked (without explanation) by a man in a suit. Men in suits missold me pensions and endowments, costing me thousands of pounds. A man in a suit led us on a disastrous and illegal war. Men in suits led the banks and crashed the world economy. Other men in suits then increased the misery to millions through austerity. If we are to start telling people what to wear, maybe we should ban suits.

    -Henry Stewart, London.

  • michael norton

    I can’t believe this – Tony Blair

    It is possible that Brexit may never happen if public opinion turns against it, former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.

    Mr Blair, who campaigned for a vote to stay in the EU, said such an outcome was unlikely but that “the debate continues” despite June’s Leave vote.

    He told French radio station Europe 1: “Who made the rule that we have to stop the debate now?”

  • ET

    A way back to decent housing at reasonable rents and for most rented accommodation being under the control of local authorities is required. Perhaps rent controls could bring that about plus making sure empty houses are filled.

    Like much that ails this country, this huge financial housing problem was caused by Thatcherite policies re selling off local authority housing and banking institutions hell bent on making money out of nothing, offering inflated mortgages with non-existent money trapping people into believing that their homes are investments. Apart from having to pay obscene rents, probably the worst thing for renters is now never being able to truly regard the property they rent as their home. Years ago, when much of the housing stock was held in public hands, most people had such security. Renting is a precarious business for tenants. Nowadays, politicians (certainly at UK level) turn their noses up at folks who live in council houses and have poisoned much of the population’s attitude too. Divide and conquer being the name of the game.

    Housing Benefit, Working/Child Tax Credits, minimum wage, sweetheart tax deals and the like all hand money to the wrong people; not necessarily landlords, although many of those will be the self same charlatans who are happily banking money from the public purse in friendly tax havens. Companies, global corporations and the very wealthy are getting huge handouts via the aforementioned benefits. These days, most companies won’t even pay to train their own staff and expect the public purse to pay for apprenticeships. It’s no accident. It’s a very deliberate transfer of wealth and resource from the public to the avariciously powerful, all facilitated by tame politicians. Theft and slavery are the words which come to mind.

    The public, Joe Soaps who always have work and pay their taxes, have always been conned by those who prefer an easier route to wealth accumulation and Housing Benefit is just another con in this midden. Bread and circuses…

  • David

    Couldn’t be done Craig. If you even attempted this sort of legislation the landlords ( good bad or indifferent) will simply evict housing benefit tenants before the law was passed. Why would you buy a property to have someone else tell you what you can and cant do with it ? There is no problem filling rentals with non housing benefit people. All that would be left for those who cant work is the really bad properties run by really bad landlords.

    Good rental properties around where I live ( and I rented before buying) are gone within a day or so of being on the market. The problem is not buy to let landlords, most of whom ( in my personal experience) are very reasonable people the problem is a massive shortage of housing stock. Instead of getting or expecting private firms to build houses and make profit ( is this really any better than a landlord ?) the government should build their own housing stock, directly employing the workforce required to do so. Building a house is not very expensive compared to the sale price, land value is the bigger issue. There is no shortage of government owned brown field sites that could be developed. The problem then is that those in social housing complain when the free house is 60 miles away from “home” I never understand why people insist on staying in the capital, or the SE when prices are so high and wages are so low for example the last house I rented was a nice semi detached 3 bed with off road parking and gardens in a very good area for £545 pcm 8 miles outside of Manchester city centre. What can you get down south for that money ? A room if your lucky and a low paid job if you even more lucky. Social mobility doesn’t start with the government it starts with the people being willing to move. I’ve moved around the country for work and find that home is where you hang your hat. We cannot base legislation on what is happening in the capital and ignore the rest of the country, we have seen far too much of that already. We need more houses…. not more laws

  • gyges01

    Hi Craig
    I would argue that Housing Benefit should buy equity not rent. That is, the equitable stake of the Local Authority paying the Housing Benefit should build up in the property as the money is transferred. This would mean that well established Trust Law can apply. When more than a fifty-percent equitable stake has been accrued by the Local Authority the property should be sold at auction.

    There are more details to this policy but comments in a blog post aren’t the appropriate place for them. However, it is good that not only I can see this wealth transfer mechanism from poor to rich.

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