Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 5:11 pm on 2nd July 1991.

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Photo of George Young George Young Minister (Department of Environment) (Housing) 5:11 pm, 2nd July 1991

I beg to move, to leave out from "House" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof: `welcomes the policies being pursued by Her Majesty's Government to put a decent home within the reach of every family by promoting owner occupation, by securing greater private sector investment in housing and by directing public expenditure effectively towards those people and areas that most need support.'. I welcome the opportunity to set out the Government's housing strategy. I believe that our broad-based approach is right. We are maximising investment from all sources, not just the public sector. We are developing new forms of tenure, such as rent-to-mortgage and shared ownership, and new forms of social landlord, such as the housing action trusts. We are introducing new partnerships with the housing associations, and a new regime for private landlords. That approach is the right one.

We want to work with the grain of people's aspirations and with the grain of market forces. The Government's approach is more likely to succeed than is the more narrowly based approach advocated by the Labour party, which leans more heavily on local authorities and public finance which might not be available. As we have just heard, that approach turns its back on some of the more radical conclusions that we are developing and would lose the possibility of contributions from institutional finance.

The Labour party's approach has not changed over the years. There is an over-reliance on public expenditure, but this time it is based on public finance which will not be there. I ask the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Gould), who, as I understand it, has just given a commitment to enter a crash programme for building 50,000 extra homes, whether he has the authority of the shadow Chief Secretary in making that commitment.