HC Deb 28 April 1971 vol 816 cc411-2
20. Dr. Vaughan

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authorities are currently operating save-as-you-rent schemes with the aim of getting tenants to save for a down payment deposit on a house; and what steps his Department now has in mind for encouraging such schemes.

Mr. Amery

The information does not have to be reported to me, but I know that the London Borough of Newham is operating a scheme and that some other authorities are thinking of doing so.

They already have complete freedom to do so.

Dr. Vaughan

Lewisham is operating such a scheme, and Greenwich has also started a scheme. Does my right hon. Friend agree that having the opportunity to buy their own house is of such great importance to the happiness of families, particularly young families, that it is something he might like to look into to see whether the scheme can be extended and improved?

Mr. Amery

I am not at all surprised to hear that Lewisham, which is one of the most progressive boroughs, has been following this path, and I am glad to hear that others are following. I shall do everything I can to support them.

Mr. Kaufman

Will the Minister intervene to stop the Manchester City Council from going ahead with its disgraceful, gimmicky scheme of council house sales, which it has just announced? As there are in my constituency thousands of people who, as a result of Tory control of Manchester over the past four years, are living in the most abysmal, squalid and filthy slum conditions, will he stop this and enourage Manchester City Council to build far more houses in my division for the people who need them?

Mr. Amery

No, Sir.