As MPs jostle for power, Tories take eye off house building

Construction output has continued its recent decline, the third consecutive fall. In May alone construction fell by 1.7%, mainly driven by a sharp decrease of 2.5% in new work.

Commenting on the statistics, Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing said:

“These figures show the Government’s complete failure to tackle the housing crisis. Last year social housing numbers hit the lowest since records began while the numbers of people sleeping on our streets rose dramatically.

“If we are to build the houses so desperately needed, smaller-scale builders must be given access to finance to break the stranglehold of big developers, and the borrowing cap on councils must be lifted universally.

“The revolving door at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has led to eight housing ministers in eight years. Perhaps if May’s administration weren’t so distracted by their own MPs jostling for power, the Tory Government could focus on delivering on the housing this country needs”

* Wera Hobhouse is the Member of Parliament for Bath. She is Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Communities and Local Government, and is on the Brexit Select Committee.

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  • We don’t just need houses; we need houses that people, many of whom will never afford even so called ‘affordable houses’, can live in; in other words, ‘council houses’.
    Council houses without the ‘right to buy’ (and sell on to ‘renters’)…

    The whole issue needs a radical rethink not just platitudes which seems to be the LibDem way. Governments can borrow at far lower rates than builders and the idea that, by borrowing, we are piling up debt for future generations somehow doesn’t apply to nuclear power stations, Trident, HS2, etc.

    Recent governments (of both parties) have betrayed the liberal (with a small ‘l’) ideals of the NHS, welfare, etc. and it is time to take those ideals, ideals that were seen as ‘doable’ by the government of a country worn out by the second global conflict in less than a generation, back.

  • Wera – you are doing such a great job. Watching it from the sofa it looks like you are sometimes on the receiving end of a pretty nasty Brexit atmosphere in the chamber.

  • Sue Sutherland 11th Jul '18 - 1:03pm

    I totally agree with Wera about the need for more homes but these figures are worrying for a different reason as well. The country went through several depressions during the Thatcher era and a downturn in retailing and in house building was one of the early warning signs that this was about to happen.

  • Helen Dudden 11th Jul '18 - 10:54pm

    In Bath like many other places, buying is not an option unless extremely wealthy, or on a very good salary.
    More, very expensive homes being added at this present time. There is a need for social housing, not affordable. Part buy is often out of reach too.

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