Housing Associations

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th October 1993.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Shadow Secretary of State (Environment) 12:00 am, 20th October 1993

Will the Minister come clean for once and confess whether he is any more comfortable with the disingenuous poppycock with which he answered my hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Raynsford) a moment ago than he was with the undignified role that he was put up to play at the Conservative party conference? There, as my hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, North (Mr. Howarth) said, he had to resort to scapegoating the children of single parents to pass on the blame for the housing crisis over which he presides. Will he admit that a reduction in the grant rate to housing associations necessarily requires an increase in private funding for housing associations, which in turn will force up rents—which have already rocketed—and that that, in turn, will force up housing benefit contributions from the Treasury? Will he admit that the overall consequence of those policies is to deny choice to any potential tenant who is in work and earning above housing benefit levels and to create ghettos out of what were once decent housing association estates?