Housing Support Grant (Scotland)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 31st January 1984.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Michael Forsyth Mr Michael Forsyth , Stirling 8:45 pm, 31st January 1984

In that case, I remind the hon. Gentleman that it was Adam Smith who first pointed out that as the price of a commodity approaches zero, the demand approaches infinity. The reason why all of us face constituents at our surgeries who rightly claim that they cannot find housing is because the price of the good has been allowed to approach zero too quickly. We are subsidising people who may have council houses due to an accident of birth at the expense of those who, as the hon. Member for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) pointed out have extreme difficulty in finding housing.

It is almost offensive to hear the hon. Member for Hamilton complain that it is our fault that those people cannot find housing and that housing conditions in Scotland are so poor when the housing crisis about which we hear so much is the creation of Socialism. It was the Socialists who destroyed the private rented sector which could provide respite for those in tied accommodation. Socialist engineering did that. The hon. Gentleman said that it was our duty to provide housing for those people before the war. It is that notion of dedication to providing housing for the people that has produced the appalling estates in Scotland. The slums that the Socialists set out to destroy were created by Socialist councils with money provided by the taxpayers of Scotland.