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Housing and Homes

Part of Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 15th May 2018.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Housing 4:45 pm, 15th May 2018

I gave the hon. Gentleman the chance to speak earlier. I will conclude now, because there are many Members wishing to speak.

In conclusion, this has been a disappointing first debate with the Secretary of State, who seems—[Interruption.] I listened very carefully, but saw no evidence that he is willing to challenge his own Government’s thinking or to make the radical changes required to fix the housing crisis. This is the test for the Secretary of State and for the Government. It is a big challenge to political thinking, not just to policy decisions. When the evident answer to the housing crisis lies in a bigger role for councils, stronger regulation of private markets, greater investment by Government in new low-cost homes, higher legal standards on everything from energy efficiency to safety, and tougher conditions on public contracts and public funding, it is clear that Conservative ideology, not just Conservative policy, must change. I say to the House that it is also clear from the Secretary of State’s speech this afternoon that the country will only see this change—the change that millions of people need and want—with Labour in government.