Housing Need (London)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:38 am on 29th June 2010.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat, Carshalton and Wallington 11:38 am, 29th June 2010

That is the hon. Lady's interpretation of the coalition Government's proposals across a number of policy areas, but it is not one with which I can agree. I agree that we need to guard against the potential impact of the proposed housing benefit changes on migration from central London to outer London boroughs or beyond, but I hope that Opposition Members accept that we are in rather a difficult financial position at the moment. I am keeping a tally of their proposals on how to address that position. They have accepted the need to cut 20% from a number of departmental budgets, including those of the Departments for Work and Pensions and for Communities and Local Government, so we need to hear some sort of explanation. Indeed, the hon. Lady said that housing benefit should be looked at, but presumably not with a view to increasing the funding available. I hope to hear at least an outline of some possible Opposition solutions or improvements to the coalition Government's proposals. I shall wait and see.