Standardised council housing charges

The standardised charges (by councils for provision of minimum-standard housing to eligible residents) would need detailed consideration, but we suggest that they might be in the region of:

  • £1,500 per adult
  • £250 per child
  • £1,000 extra for a single-adult household (reflecting the higher cost per capita of such properties in the market, and covered by a component of the single-adult supplement to the BI).

For as long as a child stays at home and in education, they are treated as a child for these purposes, even if they have achieved the relevant educational level to take control of their Basic Income. But once they leave school, if they choose to continue living at home, they are treated as another adult in the property. The council can adjust its charges accordingly, and those households that previously received the single-adult supplement no longer do so, unless/until the young adult moves out. Other benefits are likewise adjusted, such as any reduction in Council Tax for single-adult households.

This avoids a disincentive to remain in education, and also ensures that young people given control of a significant amount of money have to contribute a fair proportion of it to their costs of living if they choose to quit education. Otherwise, they must move out and set up on their own (in which case they will have to contribute an even greater proportion of their BI to their costs of living). Either way, they have an incentive to get a job rather than just live off parents and the BI, as the residual amount of the BI after contributing to increased household costs (in the parental home or in a new home) will not go far. It would not be unreasonable for the head of the household to ask the young person to contribute £1,500 (£29/week) towards the rent, £1,500 towards the food bill, £500 (<£10/week) towards the energy bill, and £1,000 (£19/week) towards other household costs, leaving the young person with £1,100 (£21/week) of their BI to spend on themselves (for example, clothing, transport, entertainment, etc., and allowing £100 for primary healthcare).

For those who choose to spend as much as they can of this amount on drink and drugs, not only will it not go that far, but, if it fuels anti-social behaviour, our other proposals for more draconian powers and sanctions against yobbishness will be deployed. The result would be the removal of the young person from the parental home and the loss of the financial benefit they had gained from that arrangement. That will give parents the power and the incentive to try to control this behaviour.