Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) was used to challenge Labour’s support over the Conservatives’ Right to Buy extension.
Prime Minister David Cameron questioned acting Labour leader Harriet Harman on the opposing party’s approval of the plan.
Cameron Questions Labour over Right to Buy Support
Harman began by asking Cameron if homeownership had increased since 2010.
In response to Cameron’s confrontation on Right to Buy, Harman said: “We support more people owning their own homes,” before she pointed out that homeownership and affordable housing have decreased in the past five years.
“He promised for every council home sold, another one would be built,” Harman continued. “That did not happen. For every ten sold, there’s only been one built.”1 This pushes more people into the private rental sector and raises the housing benefit bill.
Cameron responded: “We’ve built more council homes in the last five years than were built in under 13 years under the last Labour government. She can’t ask these questions about supporting homeownership unless she answers the simple question: Will you back housing association tenants being able to buy their homes. Yes or no?”
Harman said that the Government did not keep its promise of one-for-one replacement, but did not reply specifically about whether Labour backs Right to Buy, asking instead where the pledged £12 billion welfare cuts were coming from.
Cameron replied: “Let’s be clear, absolutely no answer from the Labour Party about housing association tenants. We’re clear: They should have the right to buy… Let me give her another chance. We say housing association tenants get the right to buy. What does she say?”
Harman again did not answer, but accused the Prime Minister of breaking his word on not reducing child benefit. She then asked if Cameron would rule out further cuts to working family tax credits.
Cameron said that these were being frozen and asked: “Will you support the cut in the welfare cap?”1
This was the end of the exchange, as the speaker announced that Harman had run out of questions.