My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to the fact that affordable housing is a problem throughout the country, particularly in rural areas. We fear that some of the concerns in rural areas across the United Kingdom, especially in Cumbria, are being overlooked by the Government in their attempt to tackle the issue of affordable housing.
Adam Smith may have been a Liberal, but he was nevertheless wrong in this respect: no invisible hand is in evidence to correct the faults in this market—it is up to society to employ its visible hand to correct imbalances, to protect true freedom, and to ensure fairness.
The Minister may be interested to hear that in the past six months I have had two letters from second home owners ticking me off for my stance on this issue—I do not think that either was from the Minister's neighbour, Mr. Meacher. I said to them, and would say to any second home owner, that I fully recognise the liberty to purchase a second home, but respectfully point out that the right to have a decent first home is a much more important liberty.