Our goal is to make responsibility the cornerstone of our welfare state. Housing Benefit will be reformed to ensure that we do not subsidise people to live in the private sector on rents that other ordinary working families could not afford. And we will continue to crack down on those who try to cheat the benefit system.An extract from a speech by a tough-minded Coalition minister? No, that paragraph is taken from A Future Fair for All, the manifesto on which Labour fought the last election. You will find it on page 20.
Which goes to show how ridiculous the rhetoric of the last week - ethnic cleansing, final solution and all - has been.
Because the last Labour manifesto was right. Housing Benefit is a bit of racket. If costs the taxpayer £21bn a year, and if you inject £21bn worth of purchasing power into any market it is bound to push prices up. And to push them up both for those who receive the benefit and those who do not.
Of course there must be safeguards during any transitional period, but the case for reform is clear.
Labour's present tactics remind me of their initial response to Margaret Thatcher's premiership. Then they thought that the slogan "Ditch the Bitch" was an appropriate and effective response. The Conservatives went on to win three more general elections.
Thanks to a tweet from Matt Smith.
Later. Matt says in the comments that he saw the story on Peter Black's blog.