Giving in to the moral panic
Here's a nasty little piece of right-wing rubbish:
"The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has been asked by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to consider proposals for the Housing Benefit Amendment Regulations. The main change that these proposals would introduce is for the regulations to provide for levels of Housing Benefit (HB) to be capped at a maximum level of the five bedroom Local Housing Allowance (LHA) from April 2009."
This is a response to the moral panic from the Evening Standard et al. about, oh noes, large families living on benefit in "million pound homes". There isn't enough social housing for large families in housing need, so councils have arrangements with private landlords to house families who are living in overcrowded or unsuitable accommodation.
The aim of this amendment is to incentivise landlords not to house large families in housing need (and instead convert their properties into flats or rent them out to students etc.) This will mean that families get evicted when they can't pay the rent (which will no longer be covered by housing benefit), then go back to the council for suitable housing, which will be in even shorter supply.
So more children will grow up in overcrowded or otherwise unsuitable housing, with all the consequences for their health, educational attainment and quality of life for them and their families that will mean. It's all very well the government mouthing warm words about reducing child poverty and discrimination, but it doesn't mean much when weak, clueless and incompetent ministers like James Purnell let the Evening Standard help them make housing policy.