Ways and Means — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:59 am on 20th March 2015.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 9:59 am, 20th March 2015

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. As we have heard in this debate, the problem is most acute in London. The consequences of not building sufficient affordable homes are being felt in many ways, such as in the number of people who are privately renting, in higher rents that people cannot afford and in the housing benefit bill. Ultimately, it is a self-defeating approach.

One problem is that the process of house building has been far too passive for local authorities in many parts of the country. They identify the land and then hope that someone will come along with a proposal. The Lyons review is about creating the means—the tools—for local authorities. I bet Ministers wish that they had applied their minds and come up with a report like the Lyons review.