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Empty Buildings

Volume 566: debated on Thursday 18 July 2013

The following is the answer given by the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the right hon. Member for Bath (Mr Foster), to the hon. Member for Edinburgh East (Sheila Gilmore) during Communities and Local Government Question Time on 8 July 2013.

Further to the question from my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne), is not the problem that no real research was done before the introduction of the bedroom tax? The position is very different up and down the country, and in some areas it is clear that an inadvertent consequence might be more empty homes. If that proves to be the case, will the Government change their mind?

I must say to the hon. Lady that clearly very detailed research was done and we had a number of pilots across the country. It would be very helpful if she would assist the House by indicating whether the Labour party, which has been so opposed to the measure, now intends to reverse it.

[Official Report, 8 July 2013, Vol. 566, c. 4.]

Letter of correction from Don Foster:

An error has been identified in the oral answer given on 8 July 2013 to the hon. Member for Edinburgh East (Sheila Gilmore).

The correct answer should have been:

I must say to the hon. Lady that clearly very detailed research was done and an estimate was made of the likely impact in each region. It would be very helpful if she would assist the House by indicating whether the Labour party, which has been so opposed to the measure, now intends to reverse it.