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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

The right hon. Gentleman is correct about the inheritance of the new Labour Government, but that makes their concentration on one aspect of housing just as bad. I am not saying anything new; these are points that, as Hansard will confirm, I put to the then Prime Ministers Blair and Mr Brown, as well as to Prescott when he was in charge of council housing-or rather non-council housing.

In the years of plenty when the economy was thriving, new Labour should have emulated what Clement Attlee did in 1945 after six years of war: introduced a house building programme to house the poorest people in the land. It did not do that. The poorest people were among those the party turned its back on, which is why it lost 5 million votes at the last general election.