“At this stage the Government should be working out the detail of its welfare cuts in order to avoid further u-turns, rather than focusing on the top line issues outlined in today’s Budget. Over the next few months there is going to be an increase in cases that demonstrate the extreme impact of the reforms, and these are likely to receive support from the courts as well as media attention. A recent Court of Appeal decision showed that housing allowance rules regarding bedroom size criteria were discriminatory against those who were severely disabled and this will certainly have an impact on the implementation of Universal Credit.

“The Chancellor has announced further cuts to red tape for businesses, but there also needs to be an emphasis on cutting tape in the social arena. At a time when the country desperately needs to boost house building to meet the shortfall, creating incentives to encourage pension funds to invest in social housing would be extremely worthwhile.”

An excerpt of this commentary also appeared in Housing Excellence on 20 March 2013. A copy of this article can be found on their website – click here to view.