Decline and fallPosted: June 4, 2013
Coalition ministers rarely fail to taunt Labour with the fact that the number of affordable homes fell under the last government.
Conservative housing minister Mark Prisk and Lib Dem junior communities minister Don Foster deployed it yet again at DCLG questions yesterday.
Labour’s Jack Dromey attacked the government’s record on housebuilding and called for a rejection of the ‘economic illiteracy of austerity, which is pushing up the costs of failure through additional borrowing and soaring housing benefit bills’. He asked: ‘Does the housing minister agree that the time has come to invest in badly needed social and affordable homes to rent or buy, creating jobs and apprenticeships, bringing down the costs of failure and getting our economy moving?’
In response Foster was quick to deploy the favourite stat:
‘I think that the whole House will have been somewhat amused by the cheek of the hon. Gentleman, given that under his party’s administration we saw a reduction of 421,000 in the number of affordable homes. This government have introduced measures to reverse that trend, and we hope to announce further measures in the near future.’