House building is an important catalyst for the wider economy and we have put in place an unprecedented package of support in this sector. Last week, the Prime Minister announced measures to stimulate house building, including a £450 million boost to the short-term house building fund.
I thank the Minister for his answer. Horden, Easington and Blackhall in my constituency need investment in housing regeneration. The recovery plan is ready. However, we need investment to help us transform our communities with new, modern, clean and green housing. Will the Chancellor invest in housing regeneration in east Durham, because these schemes can deliver jobs, training, opportunities, green energy and sustainable domestic supply chains, and boost the local economy?
This is an area where I agree with the hon. Gentleman. That is why, in addition to the fund I mentioned a moment ago, the Prime Minister also confirmed £12.2 billion of funding for affordable homes, and there is the £400 million brownfield land fund to get schemes working immediately with Mayors for exactly the reason he sets out.
The Conservative manifesto promised £9 billion for energy efficiency schemes, but the Committee on Climate Change described even that as
“welcome but not enough to match the size of the challenge”.
Given that the Chancellor is about to announce a £2 billion scheme, why are the Government scaling back their ambition when they should be scaling up to bring down people’s bills, tackle climate change and create the jobs we need to get Britain back to work?
If the hon. Gentleman had listened to the answer I gave a moment ago, he would have seen that we are learning from the lessons of the 2008 crash. One of the measures that was put in place then saw a fall of a third in the number of small house builders, so part of the £450 million fund is providing the finance to enable small house builders to build the schemes that Members on both sides of the House agree on. It is about learning the lessons of the schemes that Labour put in place in 2008, which led to a fall in construction work.