Part of Opposition Day — [13th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:13 pm on 15th December 2015.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) (Housing and Planning) 4:13 pm, 15th December 2015

My hon. Friend is right. He probably shares my view of our own Labour record. We are deeply proud of the billions of investment we made to make homes decent again, but we were perhaps too slow to start building new homes. When I was the Minister for Housing in the final year of the previous Labour Government, we got under way the largest council house building programme we had had for more than two decades. For the first time, councils were able to get the support on the same terms as housing associations to build the new affordable homes that were so badly needed in this country.

I want to return to the Chancellor’s boast about doubling the money for housing for 400,000 new affordable homes. It was not a doubling, but a halving of the investment under Labour. Most of those 400,000 homes had been announced before, so there is also double counting. Finally, many of the new homes will not be affordable for those on ordinary incomes either to rent or to buy. I would say to the Minister that we perhaps need a new hashtag. How about #fivemoreyearsoffailure?