What the hon. Gentleman entirely overlooks is that when we came to power we inherited a backlog of £19 billion of needed maintenance and repair work in the council housing sector. Had that not been met by the decent homes programme, it would have led to serious difficulties in the future. He asked what we intend to do. We are consulting this week on how to remove the barriers erected by the Thatcher Government that made things extremely difficult and actively discouraged local authorities from being engaged in building.
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