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Not enough! Landlords say Budget does too little to clear arrears

The Budget revealed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak does too little to help many of those struggling most to pay their rents.

That’s the view of the chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, Ben Beadle.

Yesterday Sunak announced that the Universal Credit taper would be cut from 63 to 55 per cent from December 1, in a bid to offset the £20 a week cut in UC implemented by the government earlier this month.


Beadle says: “The announcement is welcome news for those private tenants who have struggled to afford their rents throughout the pandemic, despite private rents falling in real terms. 

“However it does not undo the damage that previous decisions to freeze housing benefit rates in cash terms will cause. It is simply bizarre to have a system in which support for housing costs will no longer track market rents. The Chancellor needs to undo this unjust policy as matter of urgency.”

However, the NRLA did welcome some Budget announcements - namely the pledge to bring forward exemptions to the Shared Accommodation Rate for victims of domestic abuse and victims of modern slavery, from October 2023 to October 2022; the doubling of the deadline for residents to report and pay Capital Gains Tax after selling property to 60 days; and sole traders and landlords having an extra year to prepare for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment, which will now not be introduced until April 6 2024.

The campaigning charity Shelter has also commented on the absence of solid measures in the Budget with regard to the rental sector.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, says: “Housing costs are almost every family’s biggest outgoing and their biggest worry – but there was very little in the Chancellor’s budget to lighten that load. With no plan and no new money to build enough truly affordable social homes, thousands of families will remain caught in a relentless struggle to keep a roof over their heads.  

“While lowering the taper rate to allow people in work to keep hold of a bit more Universal Credit is really good, it won’t reach all of the five million families hit by the recent UC cut, and it doesn’t help people unable to work because they are sick, disabled or have young children to look after.  

“The government cannot level up this country if it keeps missing opportunities to sort out the housing crisis. Until it commits to building 90,000 green social homes a year, families are going to continue to face the agonising choice of whether to put food on the table or pay the rent.”

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