Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:22 pm on 25th March 2013.

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Photo of Eric Pickles Eric Pickles The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 4:22 pm, 25th March 2013

This scheme will not be available for foreign buyers; this is a scheme to help people from this country. That situation did not happen overnight, and the hon. Gentleman’s own Government signally failed to do anything about it. It is perhaps apposite for me to raise the issues to do with social housing.

As well as rewarding those who want to get on, we are taking tough action to tackle those who want a free ride and who are abusing the housing system. We are announcing today new measures to stop rogue landlords cashing in from renting homes to illegal migrants and we are also ensuring fair play in the allocation of taxpayer-funded social housing. We are tackling the widespread perception that the way social housing is allocated is unfair and favours foreign migrants over local people and members of the armed services.

It is true that one in 10 of all the new social housing tenancies in England go to a foreign migrant whereas in London one in five social housing tenancies belong to a foreign migrant. That is not fair to people who have worked hard and paid their taxes in Britain, so new rules will ensure that councils give priority to local people and to the armed forces when allocating social housing. That tough action will tackle the pull factors that led to unsustainable immigration under Labour and it will help community cohesion by ensuring fair play and removing the perception of unfairness that extremists exploit.