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[Mr James Gray in the Chair] — Housing Benefit

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:48 am on 13th October 2010.

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Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Liberal Democrat, Colchester 9:48 am, 13th October 2010

I congratulate Margaret Hodge on securing this debate. I am not here to defend the proposals, but I will be consistent with my position during the 40 years of my public life, the past 13 of which I have spent as a Member of the House. If only the present Opposition had been consistent with the views that we are now hearing during their 13 years of Labour rule, perhaps we would not be in this situation.

The right hon. Lady and her colleagues might wish to know that in 13 years of Labour Governments, 6,470 council houses were built. In the first 13 years of the previous Conservative Governments-I am using the same number of years-the figure was 507,200. Labour's total, as I said, was 6,470.