Orders of the Day — Land and Housing

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th March 1973.

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Photo of Mr Robert Brown Mr Robert Brown , Newcastle upon Tyne West 12:00 am, 14th March 1973

I accept what my hon. Friend says but I do not accept that Newcastle has an extensive council house-building programme. I hope that after May the council will have such a programme, because it needs it with 6,000 people on the waiting list. But after going further and further into the doldrums in five years under a Tory council, I can say that Newcastle does not have an extensive council house building programme.

I wish now to deal with Whitehall gazumping. My right hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central referred to a case of deliberate Whitehall gazumping, but the most serious gazumping on the largest scale ever seen in this country is that carried out by Gazumper Barber in his Budget. There can be no ifs or buts about it. The new rates of interest on savings that he announced can have only one result. Interest rates to borrowers by building societies will obviously go up to the highest level ever. A rate of 9½ per cent. is forecast and it may well be above that. In the area that I represent that can only mean that fewer and fewer people of working-class origin will ever he able to afford to buy a house of their own.