The figure that we had in mind for the loan to be available to assist first-time purchasers was conceived only when we announced the measure—just eight or nine months ago. The real relevance of the figure is to the cost of house price increases. This is the significant thing—the relationship between the help that we are giving and the actual prices of houses for sale.
Fifthly, we introduced last year the system of local housing strategies and investment programmes. It requires authorities to prepare capital investment programmes in the light of a comprehensive assesment of their housing needs. These then serve as the basis for the allocation of capital resources by the Government, having regard to national priorities and the resources available.
The new system has only just started. With the help of the new Housing Consultative Council and the input of housing information from the national dwelling and housing survey we shall refine and improve it.