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Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 3rd May 2016.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government) 6:00 pm, 3rd May 2016

My hon. Friend places in keen focus one of the problems of the housing deficit that the Government inherited in 2010. Under John Healey, not only did we see the lowest level of housebuilding since about 1923, but in 13 years the Labour party built fewer social homes through their councils than we have built in the past four or five years. There is a huge amount to do to drive up the amount of housing so that there are more opportunities for people to have homes across all tenures, whether shared ownership, private rental or with affordable rent. We must ensure that more people have the chance to get on and achieve the aspiration held by 86% of the public, which is to buy a home of their own.

The House will be glad to hear that I will not speak to every Government amendment—you might also be pleased about that, Mr Deputy Speaker. Many of those amendments are minor and technical, and much as we might all enjoy it if I spoke to them all, some colleagues would not thank me because we might still be here by Prorogation. Each amendment makes the Bill work better for those who implement these policies on the ground, and they have been tabled because the Government have listened to the debate and taken action as a result. We have strengthened people’s ability to own their own home and get Britain building again—improving on the 25% increase in building over the last year—and I hope that the House will agree to those changes made in the other place.

I also want to send a strong message that this Government will not slow the pace of housebuilding—we will increase it. We will not take away people’s dream of home ownership—we will inspire it, and we will deliver our manifesto commitments. When Dr Blackman-Woods responds to this debate, I hope that Labour Members will ask themselves why they stand against our mandate to boost home ownership and supply—something that the people of this country want and expect. While Labour blusters with political posturing after the abysmal housing mess that it left, we remain focused on building homes across our country and across all tenures. We will increase housing supply and home ownership. That is what we promised, and that is what we will deliver.