It did not start with the rent freeze introduced two months ago. It has been going on for years. Anybody who studies the facts in central London or other cities knows that it is nonsense to suggest anything like that.
The total of £142 million, plus a little more, is to be spent on increasing house building and the assembly of sites necessary for that purpose, to increase social ownership to hold the rental market, and to increase the improvement programme in the worst areas of housing in inner London which will require ownership to get it undertaken. About £85 million is being provided for building and the assembly of sites for building and £40 million is being provided for buying existing rented properties.
The GLC, with our full approval, after consultation, wishes to take a further initiative which this instruction, if carried, would kill—namely, to spend up to £30 million on the acquisition of newly-built and unsold properties on the market for families in need, despite the rather obscure and questionable economics that we heard from some hon. Gentlemen opposite.