The national manifesto released yesterday promised:
"On council housing, we will change public sector borrowing rules so that
councils are freed to borrow against their trading income. The Chartered
Institute of Housing predicts that, with social housing grant, councils
could build 100,000 extra homes in the first five years after
self-financing, if public sector borrowing rules are changed. Even
without grant, they could build half this number. Our pledge on empty
homes will also deliver an extra 100,000 social homes."
Sarah Teather MP commented:
"Liberal Democrats have spent the last thirteen years calling for reform
of the outrageous Housing Revenue Account which effectively allows the
Treasury to tax tenants rent. Labour's death bed conversion to reform is
welcome news, but comes far too late to help the thousands of families
desperate for their council to be able to build again.
"Local councils will now want to carefully examine the detail of this
proposal to see if it will work for them. Reform must leave councils with
more money for housing."
Frank Little, prospective parliamentary candidate for Neath, added: "This policy applies specifically to England, but I would expect the Welsh Assembly Government to fall in line.".