In a case highlighting the ‘perverse nature’ of the housing benefit which allows claimants to live in subsidised properties that most taxpayers could not afford, a family of five has been place by their council in a £2 million property, costing more than £91,000 a year in rent. Figures released under Freedom of Information show that there are five local authorities in the country paying rent totalling more than £50,000 a year. Most of the top paying councils are located in London, but include other areas such as Exeter and Slough. The councils with the highest proportion of people on housing benefit are also located in London – Hackney comes top with 38.9 per cent of the population receiving housing benefit, followed by Tower Hamlets with 38.1 per cent. Outside London, Manchester rates highest with 33.7 per cent claiming benefit.