How to cut Britain’s £20 billion Housing Benefit bill

The cost of Housing Benefit (HB) has exploded over the last five years, rising from £13.5 billion in 2004/05 to £20 billion in 2009/10. This is a cause for deep concern, not just because HB is a major burden on taxpayers, but also because it produces severe disincentives for workless people to enter employment.

Richard Wellings was formerly Deputy Research Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He was educated at Oxford and the London School of Economics, completing a PhD on transport and environmental policy at the latter in 2004. He joined the Institute in 2006 as Deputy Editorial Director. Richard is the author, co-author or editor of several papers, books and reports, including Towards Better Transport (Policy Exchange, 2008), A Beginner’s Guide to Liberty (Adam Smith Institute, 2009), High Speed 2: The Next Government Project Disaster? (IEA , 2011) and Which Road Ahead - Government or Market? (IEA, 2012). He is a Senior Fellow of the Cobden Centre and the Economic Policy Centre.