amendment of the Law

Part of Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation – in the House of Commons at 4:32 pm on 21st March 2013.

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Photo of Sheila Gilmore Sheila Gilmore Labour, Edinburgh East 4:32 pm, 21st March 2013

I know from work by single parent organisations that that is a problem for single parents who want to re-skill so that they can get jobs that will help them to bring up their children.

In the situation I have described, the individual stays poor, and the economy stagnates. That is the reality of the so-called jobs miracle. It is time the Government got real about what is happening.

On the housing measures, if the Government want to help the housing crisis and stimulate the economy, the best way would be through direct investment, which could be done very quickly. There are lots of sites with planning permission that could be used to build affordable homes. To say that 15,000 additional so-called affordable homes will be built as a result of the Budget is so far away from helping the problem that I do not know where to begin. As I said in an intervention, those are not really affordable homes—homes at 80% of market value are not affordable to most people. If they become affordable for people on low incomes, the housing benefit bill will be ratcheted up, when the Government have told us for so long that they are trying to reduce it. One part of the Government is ensuring that many of my constituents suffer a substantial cut in their income from the bedroom tax to cut the housing benefit bill, but another part is busily putting the housing benefit bill up. The policy does not make sense. Last year, we were told that 100,000 people will benefit from the help to buy scheme. The reality is that only 1,5000 have benefited. It is not enough to talk about all those plans and say how wonderful they will be when none of them results in anything.

Frankly, an athlete who became slower after their trainer told them they had only to diet to get faster would sack the trainer. That is what we need to do.