Housing

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 18th July 2007.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley 2:30 pm, 18th July 2007

My hon. Friend is right and I shall come to the figures. In passing, I pay tribute to Sir Andrew Green of Migrationwatch UK, who has used Government figures—not his own—to highlight the problem that we face. I also pay tribute to my hon. Friend Mr. Soames, who secured an informative and good debate yesterday on immigration and touched on the issue of housing, and to my right hon. Friend Mr. Lilley, who has done a great deal of work in this field. He has published a pamphlet called, "Too Much of a Good Thing? — Towards a balanced approach to immigration". I think that it is available in all good bookshops, and I urge Members to have a look at it and to read yesterday's debate, in which my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Sussex made some pertinent points.

According to the Government's own figures, 31 per cent. of the new houses built are needed to deal with immigration. That means that of the 3 million houses that the Government have said need to be built, by their own admission 1 million are needed to deal with future migration into this country. They are needed to deal not with the current level of immigration, but with the Government's projection of future migration, accepting their estimate that there will be a 30 per cent. drop in immigration, and factoring in their figures. That is how much immigration affects the amount of housing required. It is no good our trying to pretend that those figures are not there—they are the Government's own and we cannot sweep them under the carpet.

The number of asylum seekers granted permission to stay in the UK has exceeded the number of new social houses built by nearly 40,000 in the 10 years since 1997. The number of grants of asylum and extended leave to remain has totalled more than 228,000, compared with the 188,000 additional social and local authority homes built in the period. That is clearly unsustainable. The Government cannot allow it to continue, and then wonder why there is such a shortage of housing at local authority level and for first-time buyers.

Currently, one migrant a minute is coming into this country—the equivalent in population terms of a city the size of Birmingham every three years or so. That level of immigration is completely unsustainable, and unless the Government get to grips with the issue and we have a controlled and sustainable level of immigration, we will not solve the housing crisis that we face.