We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 18th March 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, The Secretary of State for Wales, Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal 12:30 pm, 18th March 2004

I have always been a great admirer of council housing programmes, especially since the war. The role played by Labour Governments over many decades was exemplary. We want to encourage opportunities for more social housing, whether provided by local councils or housing associations. The Barker report points up severe problems—in particular, the lack of affordable housing. We are seized of the need to do something, which is the reason for the Chancellor's positive welcome to the Barker report and to its recommendations for encouraging the relaxation of planning regulations and identifying different locations by changing the regime and encouraging the use of more brownfield sites. At least the public—especially first-time buyers—are confident that under this Government, mortgage rates will remain low because of the economic stability locked in by the Chancellor and endorsed by yesterday's Budget. Under Conservative Governments, mortgages went sky-high and were treble what they are now, creating uncertainty in the housing market and a nightmare for many first-time buyers.