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Housing

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th December 2013.

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Photo of Alex Johnstone Alex Johnstone Conservative

I rise unreservedly and unashamedly to support Mary Fee’s motion. Although there are many things that we will disagree on, some of which I will go on to discuss, the terms of her motion are, as Robert Burns would say, “chiels that winna ding”.

The truth is that we are dealing with a housing crisis that in no small part has been caused by the Government’s failure to address it. We have already heard the usual rhetoric this afternoon. We have heard, for example, the line that the Government has been building council houses—to be honest, I think that council houses are built by the councils—and the argument contrasting the number of houses built under this Government with those built by the previous Government. Of course, that does not take into account the fact that, for many years, attempts were made to ensure that housing associations built houses. In that respect, the numbers simply do not add up, because the Government is not comparing like with like.

We have heard the minister’s wonderful claim of a manifesto commitment—