James Forsyth

The new fairness battleground

The new fairness battleground
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The f word, fairness, got another outing today at PMQs as David Cameron attempted to defend the coalition’s proposed housing benefit changes from attack by Ed Miliband. Cameron’s argument was that it isn’t fair for people to be subsiding people on housing benefit to live in houses that they couldn’t afford to live in themselves. On this, I strongly suspect that most people in the country agree with him. If Labour wants to turn housing benefit into a big issue, the wedge will work to the Conservatives’ advantage.

However, what should be worrying the coalition is that the changes to housing benefit will have to be implemented by local authorities, many of which strongly disagree with the policy. It would not surprise me if some of them chose to implement it in the most dramatic way possible.