You have to hand it to the Toffs. Their enthusiasm for screwing the proles appears boundless, as does the inventiveness with which they strive for the return of the days when small boys were sent up chimneys.

They instituting a ‘pay to stay’ scheme for social housing. This is true genius, and will be imposed on what the government laughingly refers to as ‘high-income social tenants.’

The idea was first mooted to snag people such as Bob Crow, the late leader of the RMT union who got pilloried for earning 145 grand a year and still living in a council house. I partly agree that he was undiplomatic and insensitive to keep his feet under the table, but he came from humble beginnings, he was brought up in the house, and his first job was as a tea maker at London Transport, where he didn’t make 145000. He’d earned his right to be there, and had broken no laws, though the morality of the decision leaves a bit to be desired.

However, in their true prole-screwing fashion, the Toffs have moved the goalposts a bit. Quite a bit. A hell of a lot actually. Their definition of high income is a mere 31 grand outside of the metropolis, and 40 grand in The Smoke. Thirty two thousand sounds a lot, but the average annual wage in the UK is only £26500, which is a bit down on 2014. I’ll leave you to work out how that can be.

Most of the people affected will be families where both parents are working, because successive governments both here and elsewhere in the world have made it increasingly difficult for a single earner to keep his or her family’s head above fiscal water. Think about this. Two people earning a mere £15500 each will breach the £31000 barrier. They could face increases of more than £100 a month in rent. That’s a lot of moolah to find out of the blue.

Maybe they’ll go out and get a couple more jobs. But that will increase their liability, will it not?

Toff justification for this brigandry is, as usual, complete nonsense,

‘It’s not fair that hard-working people (Toffs always call on that trope) are subsidising the lifestyles of those on higher-than-average (just) incomes…’ This misses the point that any job paying a measly fifteen and a half grand is likely to be bloody hard graft.

Enter the Local Government Association. They estimate that the average monthly increase will be £132 in London, and £72 elsewhere. They also reckon that the cost of administering the new rules will make huge inroads into the money saved.

By the way, 1200 smackers a year is what the House awarded itself on top of the 11% increase. Also by the way, Members get their rent paid. At least part of that money will have come from ‘hard-pressed taxpayers’ (another Toff trope) who include the poor bastards at the bottom of the heap that they’re intent on screwing over yet again.