OK, first up, I am a supporter of the benefit cap, OK? But it has to be done properly, or It Won't Work.
Instead, from our government of imbeciles and Civil Service of dumb-insolent gits (Oh Yes, Minister! - *heh heh*) we get the following.
The cap is to be piloted in 4 London Boroughs, one of which is Croydon. Readers will know that I am quite well tapped in to the civic affairs of said Borough, and I present you with what is going to happen now.
(a) in general: landlords across the whole of South London now ask of prospective social tenants being housed under Homeless Persons provisions (not necessarily in their home borough): which Borough is paying your Benefits? If the answer is 'Croydon' they say - on yer bike: and they wait for someone being housed by (and paid for), say Lambeth or Lewisham instead. This of course includes Croydon landlords ...
(b) a specific actual case: Mr & Mrs X with 10 children, paying £480 rent per week, receiving just under £1,000 per week in benefits, now to be capped at £500. What happens next ? Well maybe they move to Hull of their own free will and accord, but probably not. So something will have to give: either the rent or the food or some combination of these, in which case, yes, at least some of the said 10 children will be taken into care. Foster Care ? Costs £50,000 per annum. Residential Care ? Costs £80,000 per annum. Paid for by LB Croydon.
Oh, and on the subject of foster care; under the soi-disant 'bedroom tax', anyone using a bedroom for a foster child is deemed to be keeping it as a spare bedroom (becuase not being occupied by a member of the family) and will be penalised accordingly.
Anyone see a flaw in these arrangements ? Croydon likely to be staying in Tory control come in 2014 ?
I might almost be driven to swear-blogging.