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What is a starter home?

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 3rd May 2016.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government) 5:45 pm, 3rd May 2016

I will just answer the previous intervention before I take one from the right hon. Gentleman.

Local authorities could also work with authorities around the income from higher-value homes that they may be able to use to deliver elsewhere. It is important to get that flexibility and to understand that different authorities of different parties want it.

I now turn to amendments 54, 55, 57 and 58, all of which I disagree with. Amendment 54 would make our policy to implement fairer social rents voluntary. It is, as my noble Friend Baroness Williams said in the other place, a blatant denial of the primacy of this House. Local authorities can already operate the policy on a voluntary basis, but we are not aware that any have done so. To put it simply, it is a wrecking amendment and this House should treat it as such.

The policy must also apply consistently, as it would not be right for tenants in certain areas to face possible rent increases while tenants in a neighbouring area do not. The amendment completely undermines the Government’s aim of putting in place a consistent approach and of using the funds raised to reduce the national deficit, which we inherited from the Labour party. It would substantially reduce the revenue that the policy would generate.