My hon. Friend makes an important point. The steps under this Government have led to an increase in home ownership, and the first time buyer rate has started to increase under this Government. This has been a challenge and initiatives such as Help to Buy have been important in realising that ambition and the aspiration for people to be able to own their own home. There is also the investment in social and affordable housing through our specific £9 billion programme, which is firmly focused on that.
I want to come back to my point about local government and the pressures we recognise have been growing especially around social care. That is why I am delighted that the Chancellor committed around £1 billion of extra funding for local services, with a strong focus on supporting some of our most vulnerable groups. That includes £650 million for adult and children’s social care; £240 million of that will go towards easing winter pressures next year, with the flexibility to use the remainder where it is most needed for either adult or children’s services. That is on top of the £240 million announced last month to address winter pressures this year.
In addition, the Budget pledged an extra £84 million over the next five years to expand our successful children’s social care programmes to more councils with high or rising numbers of children in care, and an extra £55 million is being made available for the disabled facilities grant in England in 2018-19. This new funding will allow councils to take immediate action to deliver the services their residents need while protecting them from excessive council tax bills.