Housing (Scotland)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:22 pm on 4th March 1997.

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Photo of Malcolm Chisholm Malcolm Chisholm , Edinburgh Leith 7:22 pm, 4th March 1997

There will be a tax on the gas, electricity and water industries. Everyone knows about their excess profits. The tax will not have any effect on prices for consumers. Those are excess profits, which we shall examine carefully.

Homelessness is closely related to economic development. Another aspect of the windfall tax will be the setting up of an environmental task force, which will carry out housing repairs as part of its remit. We have a many-pronged approach to the housing crisis, and that is one part of it.

There will be no magic-wand solution. Our priorities for housing are fundamentally different from those of the Conservatives. We shall end the vendetta against council housing. We shall continue to regard council housing as central, but we are open to new housing partnerships in order to secure additional investment. We shall pursue that twin-track approach to turn around the desperate crisis in Scottish housing, and provide people with the warm, decent homes that are an essential part of a civilised society.