§ 9. Mr. Channon
asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what representations he has received in recent months from builders about the number of starts begun this year; and what replies he has sent.
§ Mr. Channon
Does not the right hon. Gentleman recognise that a large proportion of his so-called increase in housing starts this year is a fake figure, since a number of starts were put in to avoid the levy under the Land Commission Act? Will he include in the housing statistics a new table of housing starts never completed?
§ Mr. Prentice
The levy was a factor in accelerating starts but the effect has been exaggerated in some quarters. Recent figures suggest a considerable improvement in housing starts and building orders generally. In the first quarter of last year there were 84,000 housing starts and in the first quarter of this year over 107,000 and this is a welcome improvement.