Coalition splits over plans to cap housing benefit at £400 a week

COALITION tensions over plans to reduce Britain’s ballooning welfare bill threatened to turn into a full-scale split last night, after Vince Cable said the government was “open to suggestions” on how to improve the proposals just hours after the Prime Minister insisted they were non-negotiable.

Some Liberal Democrats have indicated they will vote against plans to cap housing benefit at £400-a-week, because some claimants will inevitably be forced to leave their homes. Bob Russell, the Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, raised the issue after a tetchy session of Prime Minister’s Questions that saw Labour leader Ed Miliband and David Cameron trade blows over the issue.

“The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have had their fun and games over housing benefit. But this is not a laughing matter for the thousands of children who could become homeless,” Russell said, which reflects a strong view in his party.