HC Deb 21 March 1990 vol 169 cc1117-8
13. Mr. Wareing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will visit Liverpool to study its housing problems with a view to reviewing its housing investment programme.

Mr. Chope

I have no plans to review Liverpool's main housing investment programme allocation for the coming year which is to be increased by 73.2 per cent. compared with this year.

Mr. Wareing

If the Minister came to Liverpool he would realise how horribly below the necessary level the Government's housing investment programme is. The people of Liverpool believe that they are being discriminated against on narrow ideological grounds. Liverpool has more than its share of Boswell and Boot defective houses, and that is not the people's or the council's fault. More than 700 people who bought their houses at the Government's behest now cannot sell them. When will the Government do something about that, and live up to what Liverpool people, who bought their houses under the Government's diktat, expect from them?

Mr. Chope

The Government have been incredibly generous to Liverpool with taxpayers' money. Next year's HIP allocation for Liverpool is the third highest in the country, at more than £33 million. On top of that, next year the housing revenue account subsidy for Liverpool amounts to about £68 million, which is more than £1,000 per dwelling.

Mr. Hind

If my hon. Friend visits Liverpool, as the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) suggests, perhaps he would travel on to west Lancashire——

Mr. Speaker

Order. Not today, please.

Mr. Hind

—where he will note that the misbehaviour of Liverpool city council over the years, in overtaxing its tenants and its industry has resulted in many of its current problems, such as loss of grant. Does my hon. Friend agree that the real truth is that Liverpool city council has landed Liverpool in the mess that it is in today?

Mr. Chope

I agree with my hon. Friend. In many respects, Liverpool has been the author of its own misfortune. That is especially true with defective housing. Whereas most councils have dealt with 60 to 65 per cent. of their defective houses, Liverpool has got around to dealing with only 5 to 10 per cent. That is why the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) has a problem in his constituency.

Forward to