Reply To: HB migration


Basically when working age claimants move to UC, local HB Services will be on their own with outstanding HB overpayments. Recover the money direct from the claimant or write it off. There is no intention to allow HB debt to be recovered from UC long term nor will IT system access be allowed long term just to recover HB debt.

Senior civil servants have made it very clear to parliamentary committees that they believe local authorities have had a fantastic deal with overpayment recovery over the last 20 years and that the “gravy train” where LA’s have been able to make a significant profit from recovery cannot continue for ever. It is your debt and generous subsidy has already been paid on it (say DWP and I think they have a fair point). I am not sure why you think more will be paid. There wont be any more subsidy claims (with the exception of exempt /temp and pensioner). The end of migration will see the end of subsidy (in time and this is not going to happen overnight after nearly 50 years of HB). There might be adjustments to be made and DWP might set a time limit of two years say (I am guessing here). DWP are itching to say goodbye to HB after all these years and ditto many FD’s in Councils who feel the same. What was seen as an emergency system in the 1980’s for just a few years has lasted 45 years and counting. Bonkers.

Nationally around £2 billion approx is owed in HB debt. The Government might agree to take this on albeit at a significant discount via one of their recovery vehicles. That still leaves pensioner HB debt of course.