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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:01 pm on 24th March 2014.

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Photo of Eric Pickles Eric Pickles The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 5:01 pm, 24th March 2014

No, I cannot explain why. I suspect that my right hon. Friend’s reputation as a scourge from the right may have put the Labour Government off. I suspect they never got further than the title page, but had they gone on they would have seen some very sensible suggestions. We are free from that prejudice and, of course, he is an inspiration to us all.

Further support will come in due course from the second round of the local infrastructure fund and a prospectus on support for locally led garden cities. Increased output, increased supply and increased jobs, with stable recovery, low interest rates, and support for firms and sites of all size—we have got Britain building again. Labour’s threats of land grabs and a new development tax on house builders would cut the level of house building and undermine investment in complex land assembly projects. Against a backdrop of anti-business sentiment, perhaps epitomised by the Labour Department for Communities and Local Government team’s campaign against free Waitrose coffee, it is no surprise that this week’s Investors Chronicle warns savers to sell their shares in house builders if Labour were to win the election. That is not going to build more homes; it is a recipe for stagnation and for unemployment. As Wales shows, Labour’s anti-business dogma will have a chilling effect on jobs and the economy.

By contrast, this Government welcome enterprise and the free market. Enterprise zones have led the way in creating jobs all over the country, as well as helping the UK to become world leaders in a range of technologies and for inward investment.