Stamp Duty (Temporary Provisions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:57 pm on 20th January 1992.

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Photo of Mrs Llin Golding Mrs Llin Golding , Newcastle-under-Lyme 11:57 pm, 20th January 1992

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. What the Government's policy is doing to people is disgraceful. So many of them are coming to all our surgeries: young couples with children living in top-floor flats, for instance. How can mothers with babies and small children in pushchairs climb stairs? Old people are living in homes that are entirely unsuitable; they desperately need ground-floor accommodation, but they cannot obtain it.

You may think, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that I am wandering slightly from the subject of the Bill. The Bill is designed to release people and to make the housing market move, but the Government will not succeed with it. What is needed is a concerted policy: that is clear to us when we talk to local authorities, housing associations and, indeed, manufacturers. Doors need handles; windows need catches and glass. Then there are all the ceramic fittings for bathrooms and kitchens, and the bricks and tiles. All those things must be produced, and we cannot simply flick a switch and expect production to start up again.

The Bill goes a little way, but it is only a very little way. What we need is a Labour Government, committed to housing the homeless.