HC Deb 01 May 1956 vol 552 cc190-1
20. Mr. Gibson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the number of houses built by private enterprise builders during the months of January to March, 1955; and the number for the same months in 1956.

Mr. Sandys

During the first three months of this year 25,450 houses were built by private enterprise in England and Wales. That is about 4,000 more than in the corresponding period of last year.

Mr. Gibson

May I take it from that reply that the number of houses built by local authorities for letting has gone down, or have they also maintained their numbers?

Mr. Sandys

There is no connection between the two. All I would add is that the more people who own their homes, the better it will be for England.

Mr. Mitchison

How can the right hon. Gentleman say that there is no connection when the builders, building labour and the materials are required for both local authority and private enterprise houses?

Mr. Sandys

The hon. and learned Gentleman is advancing a new argument. Previously he has been telling me all the time that it is purely the reduction in the subsidy which is causing some reduction in local authority house building. Now he says that it is a lack of building labour.

Mr. Lindgren

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he is making it more and more difficult for young couples to own their own house? Since he has been Minister house interest charges on a £2,000 house have increased by 15s. a week.

Mr. Sandys

The last positive step taken by the Government in this connection was to reduce Stamp Duty on the purchase of new houses.

Dame Irene Ward

Will my right hon. Friend ask the hon. Gentleman opposite what steps the Socialist Government took to allow any married couples to own their own houses?

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