With more than 400,000 council properties said to be 'under-occupied', the Government has announced that it intends to bring in legislation to force tenants to 'downsize' where their property is bigger than is 'needed'.
The change will be introduced in 2013. In 2011, the housing benefit cap introduced in the Budget will bite, leaving more than one million tenants an average of £12 per week worse off.
The cost of housing benefit has risen by more then £10 billion in the last decade.
According to a report in the Independent, house prices have fallen by 0.5 per cent in the last month as the shortage of mortgage funds bites.