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Labour U-turn on housing policy

David Carter National Housing Spokesman

29 April 2004

Labour U-turn on housing policy

Labour's housing strategy is an admission that their policy has failed, says National Housing spokesman David Carter.

"In an act of defeat they are returning to National policies they once dismissed as 'welfare for landlords'.

The strategy, released today, features increasing the accommodation supplement as Labour's number one housing priority. It also highlights the need for the private rental market to be available to low income people, and increasing home ownership.

"The Prime Minister will now have to eat her words. While in Opposition she dismissed accommodation supplements as a flawed policy, saying 'it goes straight into the hands of landlords and the rents stay high...that's why I say the policy cannot work'".

"She is finally admitting that National was right all along," says Mr Carter.

"Accommodation supplements are the way to allow equity between state housing and the private rental market.

"The strategy shows Labour's income-related rents policy for what it is - a complete disaster.

"It locks a privileged few into state housing, keeping our most vulnerable out of the housing they desperately need.

"Why would anybody want to move out of a heavily subsidised state house?

"Waiting lists for state houses have ballooned to more than 12,600 people - 5,000 of them in desperate need of housing.

"Income-related rents increase dependency on the state, destroying incentives for people to buy their own home. And the statistics prove it - state house tenants are staying more than twice as long in state houses than they were three years ago.

Mr Carter congratulates Labour for at least having the honesty to admit defeat.

Ends


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