The Times reported yesterday that Margaret Beckett is considering proposals similar to what the Chartered Institute of Housing came up with last month. I hope her considerations involved quickly moving the proposals from her desk to the bin.

Booting people out of their homes because their "circumstances have improved", be they a slightly better paying job or their kids moving out is unacceptable, and so is offering them friendly advice on cheap home ownership or private renting with a wink and nudge, and then threatening them with higher rents or booting them out which is what these proposals basically call for.

If there's a shortage of family sized homes you don't tackle it by threatening to kick people out, you offer them financial incentives to move to a smaller house and give them 5 or 10 years to take advantage of it so they're not pressured straight away and can think it over in their own time.

If Beckett has just realised there's a shortage perhaps she and her predecessor should of been making plans to build more houses, something the left have been saying for years. With the construction industry facing shortages of work due to the private sector grinding to a halt there is no better time to organise a large scale building project.

Update: Margaret Beckett on Question Time denied these reports completely.