To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how much his Department has spent on marketing in relation to the Right to Buy scheme in London in each year since 2010.
This Government is committed to supporting home ownership, and giving a helping hand to social tenants to move up the housing ladder. But our reinvigorated Right to Buy can only be exercised by eligible tenants if they know about it. It is also important that social tenants have sufficient information about their rights to make an informed decision, and to ensure that home ownership is the right choice for them in light of their financial circumstances.
Precise figures on spending in London cannot be disaggregated from the national Right to Buy campaign. We can identify £378,393 of spending in 2012-13 and £68,500 in 2013-14; there was no London-specific spending in 2010-11 or 2011-12. Figures for 2014-15 are not yet available.
I appreciate that the Labour Party in London has effectively called for the Right to Buy to be abolished, and will oppose social tenants being informed. Such are the enemies of aspiration. The Right to Buy improves social mobility and helps build mixed communities. As well as increasing home ownership and supporting new build construction (from replacement affordable homes), it gives something back to families who have worked hard, paid their rent and played by the rules. It allows buyers to do up their home, change their front door, improve their garden – without getting permission from the council. It gives people a sense of pride and ownership not just in their home, but in their street and neighbourhood.
Total national spending was £0 in 2010-11, £17,728 in 2011-12, £1.4 million in 2012-13 and £1.0 million in 2013-14. To place our information campaigns in context, DCLG has cut spending on marketing and advertising from £9.9 million in 2009-10 to £2.0 million in 2013-14.
We run a tighter ship. Right to Buy and the Fire Kills campaign are now the two primary campaigns we run, and both have a clear public benefit, in strong contrast to the culture of spin and excess in the spendthrift Labour years.