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

As the hon. Lady knows, under this Government and the previous Government a number of schemes have enabled tenants in social housing to swap between local authorities. Those schemes will continue to operate.

We are offering a simple and proportionate response to housing needs. As my second favourite member of the Labour party, Lord Mandelson, remarked last week:

“I can’t quite remember which member of the government it was who claimed to have abolished boom and bust. Well, we abolished boom”.

Last week, Labour was again playing the politics of envy and division, attacking the fact that we are helping hard-working families in middle England, in both the north and the south. Let me be clear for Labour’s benefit. We are not about to introduce 110% or even 100% mortgages for those who cannot afford to pay, but 95% mortgages for people who, but for the financial crisis, could have put enough money aside.

The checks are in place. Applicants will need to prove they can repay the loan before they pick up the front door key. As I said to Mr Robinson, this is not a scheme for second home owners, but the rules need to be carefully worded so we do not slam the door on parents who want to do a bit for their kids or prevent people from rebuilding their lives after family breakdown. Unlike Labour, this Government have not given up on growing families who are in properties too small for their needs, buyers looking to make that first step, or tenants who believe they can aim higher. We will continue to work closely with the industry to do everything in our power to make sure home hopefuls realise their dreams.