Lib Dems condemn inaction of Newcastle Labour MPs who failed to turn up for housing vote


Liberal Democrats attack North East Labour MPs inaction on key housing vote - as North East's three Conservative MPs vote against affordable homes

Newcastle Lib Dem housing spokesperson Cllr Doreen Huddart has attacked the failure of North East Labour MPs for their failure to turn up to vote to give every family the stability and dignity of a decent home.

The Liberal Democrat motion called for a series of reasonable, common sense solutions to the housing crisis to increase the availability of quality housing. Sadly Conservative MPs refused to put partisan politics aside to support working families - the Conservative MPs for Stockton South, Hexham, and Berwick all voted against the proposal. Not one of the region's Labour MPs bothered to turn up to vote.

New research by the Liberal Democrats shows that house prices in the North East will rise by 46% to £229,000 by 2026 - well beyond many people's income in the region. The failure of North East Labour MPs to take this issue seriously is a real ‘kick in the teeth’ for local people.

Commenting, Cllr Huddart said: "Housing is not about bricks and mortar, it’s about people.  It’s wrong that so many people are being priced out of the communities they grew up in. And it's not just a few people - the problem is real, and it's widespread. So seeing the North East's Conservative MPs voting against these plans, and even worse, all of the North East's Labour MPs not even bothering to turn up is a real kick in the teeth for local families in Newcastle and across the North East..

"The country faces a severe housing crisis in which ordinary people cannot afford to rent, let alone buy, their own home. Unfortunately, the Government's proposals simply will not address the problems that are faced, particularly in the North East. 

"We need homes that are genuinely affordable, and that includes properties not just to buy but also to rent. The Government must also act to ensure that these properties do not simply end up becoming second homes, exacerbating the housing problems which many people in our area already face."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron added:  “All these Conservative MPs troop through the lobbies to cut tax credits and yesterday they again voted against a plan to build truly affordable homes that we need. Labour MPs didn't even bother to show up. The Liberal Democrats will keep working to make this a priority.

“The Government needs to seriously tackle the housing crisis and that means building more affordable homes, not selling off the existing stock of social housing. Labour simply cannot be considered a serious opposition if they are not prepared to stand up for people on this vitally important issue."

 

Notes for editors

 

The official division of how MPs voted can be found here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160209/debtext/160209-0004.htm

The Liberal Democrat motion is titled Housing for Young People. The text of the motion says:

That this House believes everyone deserves a decent, affordable home to live in; regrets that many young people are priced out of the communities in which they grew up due to rising house prices and rents; acknowledges the important work achieved by the Coalition Government in implementing Help to Buy, bringing empty homes back into use and increasing support for self-build; notes with concern the Conservative Government’s housing reforms which will lead to fewer new affordable homes for rent and the breakdown in communities by selling off affordable homes and replacing them elsewhere; recognises the need for a huge increase in the supply of homes due to decades of undersupply by successive Governments; notes that an increase in apprenticeships and other skills training within the construction industry is required to meet that need; further notes the particular challenges of affordable housing in rural areas; notes the failure of Scottish and Welsh Governments in meeting the housing needs of young people; notes that the average cost of a home in London is now over £500,000; further notes the benefits of building sustainable homes; and calls on the Government to lift the borrowing cap for councils to borrow for house-building, to endorse Caroline Pidgeon’s plan to convert the Olympic precept into funding 200,000 new homes in London, and to set out a long term housing plan which ensures there are enough affordable homes for young people to rent and buy in the communities where they live.


It was debated in Parliament on Tuesday, February 8th.


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