§ Baroness Jeger
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made in the administration of the housing benefits legislation; and what reports have been received from local authorities about the problems involved, including the number of extra staff necessary.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Department of Health and Social Security (Lord Glenarthur): As was only to be expected in the implementation of a major scheme, many authorities experienced difficulties at first over some aspects of the new arrangements, although we believe that most of the initial problems have now been sorted out. My honourable friend the Minister for Social Security is currently considering a number of detailed proposals from the local authority associations about areas where the day-to-day running of the scheme might be 1436WA improved. It will not be possible to make firm estimates of local authorities' additional staffing requirements until the new scheme has settled down.