Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:47 pm on 25th March 2013.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 4:47 pm, 25th March 2013

My hon. Friend is correct. That is a consequence of the 60% cut.

The number of people on housing benefit has gone up by 300,000, almost entirely accounted for by people in work. When the Prime Minister launched NewBuy, the previous scheme, in March last year, we were told that it would help 100,000 people to get a mortgage. A year on, how many people has it actually helped? The answer is 1,500. Firstbuy, which was slightly more successful, has helped 6,000 people against a target of 16,500.

Then there is the strange case of the remarkably reclusive infrastructure guarantee. It was launched by the Chancellor in the autumn statement. He said that he would set aside £10 billion for investment in housing. It sounded good and we supported it, but we now know that not a single penny of it has yet been used to support house building. The facts are clear: lots of promises, precious little delivered, and not a lot for the Secretary of State to crow about.