The Government today executed a partial climbdown on the hated bedroom tax.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith bowed to pressure and announced that families with severely disabled children would be exempt from the plans.
But there will be no more money to help the hundreds of thousands of other households who stand to lose an average of £14 a week when the bedroom tax comes into force next month.
The move came as the bishops stepped up their battle over the government’s welfare reforms.
The bedroom tax will see people living in social housing have their housing benefit docked by 14% if they one spare room and by 25% if they have two or more spare rooms.
The policy has sparked outrage as it will leave 660,000 having to move home or badly out of pocket.
Mr Duncan Smith came under pressure from Tory, Lib Dem and Labour MPs in the Commons today to look again at the plans.
He announced that new guidance would be published tomorrow so that families with a severely disabled child unable to share a room would be exempt.
“As the law stands right now where a local authority agrees that a family needs an extra bedroom because their child’s disability means they are unable to share, the family can be entitled to the spare room subsidy in respect of that extra bedroom.
“As with the housing benefit claim, the determination as to whether their disability requires them to have an extra bedroom is a matter for the local authority to decide with the help of Department for Work and Pension guidance and medical evidence.
“We will be issuing final guidance to local authorities on a number of areas this one also this week,” he told MPs.
He also hinted there could be further help, saying he would “keep everything under review.”
The Daily Mirror revealed last week that David Cameron is even coming under pressure from Tory MPs to change the policy.
One Conservative said the plans were “deeply flawed.”
In another blow to Mr Duncan Smith the bishops, backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, are planning to table an amendment to the controversial legislation when it is debated next week.
Mr Duncan Smith said there was “nothing moral” about their opposition to the decision to cap welfare payments at 1% for the next three years - a real terms cut for millions of households.
But the bishops are determined to keep up the fight when the Uprating Bill passes to the Lords a week tomorrow.
Some of the 25 Anglican Bishops in the upper house are looking to back an amendment calling for benefit payments that support children to be exempted from the cap.
The Children’s Society claims a further 200,000 children could be pushed into poverty by the reforms.
It has calculated that a couple with two children, where one parent earns £600 a week, would lose £424 a year by 2015 under the changes.
The new Archbishop, the most Rev Justin Welby, has said the poor were “paying the price” for the Government’s welfare plans and a “civilised society” had a duty to support the “vulnerable and those in need.”
There is nothing moral about IDS. He has no authority to speak on morals whatsoever.