Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Monday, 13 September 2010 11:58 UK

Communities and Local Government Committee

The housing minister Grant Shapps has defended the coalition government's policy on housing policy during an evidence session with the Communities and Local Government Committee.

Responding to questions from the committee chairman Clive Betts, Mr Shapps said people who can work should work, and that "it should pay to go and work".

He said that government had tripled the grant available to local government to help them step in in individual cases of homeslessnes.

Opening the session, Secretary of State Eric Pickles said he wanted the department to engage in more "decentralisation", whilst his junior minister Greg Clarke said local authorities were keen to take on more powers, such as over scrutiny of health services.

Secretary of State Eric Pickles, Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Junior Minister Greg Clark will give evidence on how cuts in public spending could impact on the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Mr Pickles has hit out at council "non-jobs" calling on greater transparency on how jobs are advertised.

At a public meeting during the summer recess, Housing Minister Grant Shapps floated a proposal for ending the principle of "council houses for life" in England.

However he has stressed that the idea is not a firm policy and would only affect future tenancy agreements.

Communities and local government committee membership

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