Right-to-Buy Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:02 pm on 11th January 2006.

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Photo of Brian Iddon Brian Iddon Labour, Bolton South East 7:02 pm, 11th January 2006

That is certainly an underlying theme of this debate.

Recent Shelter research, published in August last year, showed that housing affordability and a safe neighbourhood are valued considerably ahead of home ownership by British citizens. Britain's housing policies are transferring wealth upwards and widening the gap between the richest and poorest families, when what the country really needs is a redistribution of wealth downwards.

According to research from Sheffield university, if current trends continue, in 30 years the richest 10 per cent. of children will have access to more than 100 times more housing wealth than the poorest 10 per cent. My worry is that we are creating a situation that will badly stigmatise the poorest in our society, trapping them in residual social housing with high rents. Reliance on benefits prevents those tenants from escaping that trap, even if they want to work to support their families with dignity.

I look forward to the response from my hon. Friend the Minister.