It’s like that game with the sticks, you know the one, where each contestant takes a stick out and when it becomes obvious which one will crash the lot they will avoid it like the plague.
They didn’t reduce rent supplement, they toyed around with the parameters of it - they put the onus on the tenant to renegotiate with the LL at the end of the term, many couldn’t get the reductions and were faced with the choice of paying up or moving. By the way, the taxpayer pays the move because the landlord cannot be forced to lower the rent.
The real objective was to force tenants to go onto the RAS (Rental Accomadation Scheme) because Rent Supplement was only ever intended to be a short-term solution - not a long term drain on the taxpayer.
It’s a subsidy - any direct or indirect financing into any industry is a subsidy and when you have a subsidy you have market distortion - you can use examples, anecdotes, ring as many county councils as you like, but that’s what it is. The problem with this subsidy is that it’s attached to the banks - and that, in my humble opinion is where the real issue lies.