HC Deb 16 July 1984 vol 64 cc12-3
13. Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many council houses have been sold to sitting tenants in Wales since May 1979.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

A total of 36,885 council dwellings were sold to sitting tenants in Wales between May 1979 and 31 March 1984. In addition, 1,796 dwellings were sold by the Cwmbran development corporation and Mid Wales Development.

Mr. Knox

What effect does my hon. Friend think the Housing and Building Control Act 1984 will have on council house sales in Wales?

Mr. Roberts

I am glad to tell my hon. Friend that it will have a promotional effect when it comes into force in August. It extends the right to buy to groups of tenants who do not benefit under the current arrangements. It increases the maximum discount to 60 per cent. and introduces the right to buy on a shared ownership basis. This will give even more people the opportunity to enjoy the basic security and satisfaction of home ownership.

Mr. Roy Hughes

Does the Minister appreciate that the building and construction industry is concerned not so much with the sale of council houses as with the threat of a moratorium on local authority capital projects? Is he aware that Mr. Michael Manser, president of the Royal Institute of Building Architects, points out in a letter to me today that such a move would be highly detrimental to the industry and would increase unemployment.

Mr. Roberts

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already dealt with that matter during Question Time today. Last Wednesday I made a statement about the issue in the Welsh Grand Committee. We hope that about £200 million will be spent on housing in Wales during the current year.