The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1979-1983 Parliament

Mr Major’s Question on Housing Starts – 20 January 1982

Below is the text of Mr Major’s Parliamentary question on Housing Starts, from 20th January 1982.

Mr. Thomas Cox Asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many (a) council and (b) private houses are now under construction in the Greater London Council area.

Sir George Young About 13,000 local authority and 14,300 private dwellings were under construction in London at the end of September 1981.

Mr. Cox Is the Minister aware that those figures are an appalling indictment of two and a half years of Tory Government? In view of the enormous housing problems in London, why cannot the Government start to put into employment the thousands of building workers whom they forced to go on to the dole and get the local authorities to start to tackle these problems? The hon. Gentleman knows that they have to be tackled. Surely now is the time to start doing it.

Sir George Young I hope that the hon. Gentleman will get some comfort from the fact that private sector housing starts in London in the third quarter of 1981 were nearly double the number in the comparable period of 1980. The 1982-83 HIP allocation for London is £558 million, compared with £549 million this year. London will receive a HIP allocation equivalent to more than £200 per household compared with less than £100 per household for the rest of the country. We are trying to tackle London’s housing problems.

Mr. Major To put the matter in context, how many council houses in Greater London are empty and have been empty for many months?

Sir George Young Our latest figures show that there are 32,814 local authority dwellings empty in London.