Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun
If all options are on the table in the White Paper, will the Government reconsider the right to buy and extend the discount? Have the Government put a cost against how much money has been paid out in the extended right-to-buy scheme and how many properties might have been delivered had the money gone directly to house building?
Jackie Doyle-Price Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
The hon. Gentleman will not be surprised to hear that I disagree with his point about right to buy. We are firmly committed to it. We want to encourage the aspiration for everyone to own their own home. We want to enable that, and right to buy is very much a part of it. He made very thoughtful remarks in his earlier contribution, and we have answers. We are firmly committed to making sure that, for every additional home sold, another social home will be provided—nationally. There is a rolling three-year deadline for councils to deliver the affordable homes to replace right to buy. We must also remember that when someone exercises their right to buy, the house is not removed from the stock. They still have a housing need. Again, the issue comes back to making sure that we increase the supply of houses.
Perhaps I can give the hon. Gentleman a little more comfort. It was said by the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth that councils were not building more homes. Actually, they are. Some councils are showing considerable imagination in unlocking new homes. They are establishing local housing companies and we are encouraging them to do that. We see local councils as part of the partnership to help to increase supply.