Ministers are considering imposing penalties on councils who fail to tackle fraud, in a bid to crack down on the£7...
Ministers are considering imposing penalties on councils who fail to tackle fraud, in a bid to crack down on the £7bn housing benefit bill, reports the Independent (p1 August 30).
Ministerial advisers said Social Security Secretary Peter Lilley is also considering cutting housing benefits by lowering the earnings limit before benefit is lost and lowering the £16,000 ceiling on allowed savings.
The three options under examination are part of the Treasury's search for ways to curb the £50bn budget deficit.
Michael Portillo, chief secretary to the Treasury, said on Sunday he believed the state was too big and should be cut back. Having ordered fundamental reviews of health, the Home Office, education and social security, he is widening the net to include housing, agriculture, inner cities, courts and the Treasury itself, the Independent reports.