Housing Waiting Lists
Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]
Margaret Beckett (Minister of State (Housing), Department for Communities and Local Government; Derby South, Labour)
It is no good the hon. Gentleman wittering on about that. He is the one who said that he wanted to dwell on the record of the previous Conservative Government, and I am going to talk about it.
It was not until 2006 that the number climbed back to over 2 million; and it may be no coincidence that that was when the numbers of new homes built began to return to the levels we need.
All this is, in part, why we have brought forward £550 million of investment from our forward programme to be spent over the next two years: not only to make sure that much needed affordable housing actually gets built but to support the construction industry while demand from the private sector is weak. Through real help now, we can keep people in work and businesses afloat, maintaining capacity in the industry so that it is ready and able to accelerate building again when the upturn comes.