Housing costs — Who pays, and who benefits?
Ricky Thakrar

Interesting illustrations, Ricky. Just a couple of points. Council Tax ideally would be taken into account as not only it is a fiscal cost of occupation, but Council Tax Reduction (Council Tax Benefit as was) provides relief from that cost for some but not others. Also, and more importantly, while housing benefit provides a direct subsidy for occupation, other benefits provide an indirect subsidy. For example, for a low-earning couple with two children, Child Benefit and Tax Credits might actually be more than enough to cover their mortgage payments. Obviously they’re not given the money *to pay their mortgage*, but the cash goes into the household pot and without that in the pot it they couldn’t pay their mortgage. So in practice a proportion of this spending by government will be ‘paying for housing costs’ and go to mortgage lenders and to increase private wealth.