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Planning for the Future

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 11:30 am, 12th March 2020

The hon. Lady will know as a follower of Treasury matters that what we announced yesterday in the Budget with reform of the Public Works Loan Board makes it cheaper for councils to borrow to invest in housing and regeneration. I hope that she will support the changes that we made. The changes we are making to the PWLB will make it harder for councils to waste money on speculative investments outside of their boundaries and get highly indebted, and make it easier to spend money on things that really matter. We have lifted the housing revenue account borrowing cap, and many councils across the country are responding to that and building council houses at a pace that we have not seen for many years, as was reflected in the statistics I gave earlier. We built more council houses last year than we have done for many years, and I hope that her local council in Oxford will do the same, if that is what she wishes.