HC Deb 12 November 1980 vol 992 c476
24. Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to lift the moratorium on council house building.

Mr. Heseltine

I am studying the estimates of committed housing investment expenditure for 1980–81 which local authorities have submitted. I shall announce my decision as soon as possible.

Mr. Alton

Is the Secretary of State unaware that, as a result of the imposition of his moratorium, not only will many more people be stuck on waiting lists for years but a million people will still be living in houses requiring sanitation and over 200,000 construction workers will be in the dole queue? What economic or social sense does that make?

Mr. Heseltine

The hon. Gentleman is confusing my determination to keep within the cash limits with an assumption that I have cut the programme. I am trying to ensure that the Government do not overspend on programmes announced some months ago.