Economic Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:03 pm on 8th July 2020.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Father of the House of Commons 1:03 pm, 8th July 2020

I welcome the positive approach that the Chancellor and the Government are taking. Were we to ask them, I think many MPs who will not be able to ask a question today would share my view that we should be green, red and blue: green by having economically and environmentally sustainable ways of getting the economy to come back; red by watching out for things that we should not be doing; and blue by being colour blind and trying to make sure that whether they are on the coast, in the countryside or in the cities, people get opportunities.

I hope that the Chancellor will pay attention to what Alison Thewliss said for the SNP about those excluded. The new all-party group is very concerned about those who have not been caught up by some of the support schemes. They need help and I hope that the Chancellor will find some way of bringing that forward as well.

Let me give just one example of the red—of what not to do. I am putting down an early-day motion—a prayer against Statutory Instrument 2020 No. 632, which goes under the name of the Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020. It allows two storeys to be built on blocks of flats built between 1948 and 2018—I do not have a personal interest in this matter, by the way—which will potentially wreck the lives of leaseholders who want to get their freehold and put the price up so that people like Vincent Tchenguiz can go stuffing his pockets again at the risk of the pockets and the expense of leaseholders.

Will my right hon. Friend look at this matter and ask whether there can be a better housing adviser in No. 10 and in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to make sure that they do not get things wrong again?