"Private Eye" this week cites a Shelter report that rents have risen 2.8% in the last year. The report is said to be based on a government agency's statistics. Yet Inside Housing magazine reported last month that there are doubts about the adequacy of those statistics. Another interpretation of the figures is that 85% of private rents have risen by less than the Consumer Prices Index*.
As housing benefit is about to be shaved, and made subject to local authority judgments, it is essential that relevant and reliable data should inform the increasing debates.
* CPI itself looks like jumping in January as the rise in world cereal prices has now shown itself on the supermarket shelves.