Housing (Home Ownership)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd April 1970.

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Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , North Angus and Mearns 12:00 am, 22nd April 1970

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has completed his study of the Cullingworth Report on Owner Occupation in Scotland, a copy of which has been sent to him; and if he will make a statement.

Earl of Dalkeith:

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement on the Cullingworth Report on Owner Occupation in Scotland, a copy of which is in his possession.

Photo of Dr Dickson Mabon Dr Dickson Mabon , Greenock

At present I cannot add to the reply given to the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) on 18th February. —[Vol. 796, c. 123.]

Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , North Angus and Mearns

Is the Minister of State aware that the report highlights the fact that in Scotland home ownership is unattractive by comparison with renting? What steps are the Government taking to try to make home ownership more attractive for people in Scotland?

Photo of Dr Dickson Mabon Dr Dickson Mabon , Greenock

I appreciate the usefulness of the report. The Secretary of State read it with great interest. But the hon. Member knows from a previous reply that we are conducting a general review of housing finance in both the public and the private sectors. We are making this an intensive review.

Earl of Dalkeith:

Does the hon. Member recognise that there is less home ownership in Scotland than in any other country west of the Iron Curtain? What positive steps can he take to encourage local authorities to sell local authority houses to individuals, to satisfy the great demand which is building up for private home ownership in Scotland?

Photo of Dr Dickson Mabon Dr Dickson Mabon , Greenock

I am not sure about the comparison with other countries west of the Iron Curtain.

Earl of Dalkeith:

It is true.

Photo of Dr Dickson Mabon Dr Dickson Mabon , Greenock

I am entitled occasionally to have opinions of my own, whether the report makes that statement or not. I am not certain whether the facts stated are fair. But that is not the point. The point is that during the 13 years that the Conservative Party were in office the position was exactly the same. The proportion has always been one in five. We all regret that. The Labour Government in 1968 and 1969 achieved record years of private house building. We hope, with our general review, to do better.