On the Benefit-Industrial Complex, and Paying the Rent

  Anyone following the progress of the government’s “Universal Credit” welfare reform program will know that (1) its signature provision is the creation of the so-called Benefit Cap limiting the amount of benefits that any one person or family can claim in a given week to £350 or £500, respectively.   Lesser known is (2) that “under Universal Credit, the default position will be that all housing costs for both social and private sector tenants” – currently paid out as a single, discrete benefit but soon to be subsumed within the benefit cap – are to be paid directly to…