It would be a shame if this reduced to a Tory-Lib Dem split story, though. Cameron may have surprised some of his coalition colleagues with his words yesterday, but he is right to be thinking radically about a policy area which doesn't get nearly enough attention. Simple fact is, the current set-up isn't working. The 5 million people stuck on waiting lists for social housing are testament to that. And, with the pace of new building stuttering along at an uninspiring rate, that number is only going to rise unless the government does something.
The difficulty is that all of the answers come with problems attached. The Cameron idea of reviewing tenants' circumstances every five or ten years is intuitively attractive, but it could create disincentives against working. Whereas the idea of simply building more housing to meet demand requires a lot of cash. These points need hammering out – and, thankfully, it looks as though this government is prepared to do just that. Ok, the internal debate may have got off to a angry start. But at least that debate is now afoot.