§ 4. Mrs. Anne Campbell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his reasons for deciding not to introduce a national licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation. 
§ The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Urban Regeneration (Mr. David Curry)
The rules that we are proposing will permit effective action to ensure safety where that is necessary without imposing universal rules that may not be necessary everywhere.
§ Mrs. Campbell
Will the Minister admit that three out of every four people who responded to the Government's consultation paper supported the case for a national licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation? By refusing to introduce such a scheme, are not the Government putting their ideological hostility towards regulation ahead of the proper concern for public safety and the need to save lives?
§ Mr. Curry
It is true that a large number of people wanted a licensing scheme, but they wanted different things—there was little agreement on the shape of the scheme that they wanted. We have decided to build on the powers that local authorities have rather than impose duties on them. There are parts of the country where there are relatively few problems, and it is not necessary to introduce a compulsory universal scheme. Where it is necessary to introduce a scheme, local authorities already have the relevant powers, and we shall give them enhanced powers.