How are the government paying for the extra housing spending?

Today the PM announced £1500 million extra spending on housing. He implied it was being “paid for” by cutting spending elsewhere.
I asked him what he was cutting. He declined to answer.
It makes a mockery of Parliament that he wont even answer that.

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  1. Posted June 29, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it the Speaker’s job to compel him to answer?

    • Posted June 29, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly.

  2. Posted June 29, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    He’s approched George Osborne’s family to request they divert their wallpaper printing presses to printing fivers. As for “cutting elsewhere”, I thought that was The Conservative plan?

  3. Posted June 29, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Well you obviously don’t listen very hard because I saw you ask the question.

    He said he would fund it using the budget allocated to the communities department.

    You are making a mockery of parliament by not listening to the answer, or aware of the answer but ignoring it so you can write some stupid propaganda on your site.

    Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
    Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
    Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mad,
    Tros ryddid collasant eu gwaed.

    Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i’m gwlad,
    Tra môr yn fur
    I’r bur hoffbau,

    Reply: He did not answer my question which was what is he cutting. You clearly do not know. He should tell us in Parliament. If he wants credit for spending extra he needs to tell us how he is paying for it.

    • Posted June 29, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure serious readers of John’s blog do not doubt or question his honesty and integrity – a ‘proven’ politician.

      Conversely, I treat ‘unidentifiable’ commentators with sceptism, given the hoardes of (taxpayer funded) IT monitors and misinformers, aka ‘trolls’ – patrollers.

    • Posted June 30, 2009 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      I want to say that a couple of months ago I wrote two very fair and appreciative articles on Labour List. As soon as the Authorities discovered that I also posted on this blog they quoted (oh heinous!) my “right wing” words on here and I was chucked discreetly off the site!
      We really do need a trenchant critique of the present dangerous financial situation from everybody. All hands to the pump! And we need it urgently now. This excellent blog has provided a blow by blow account of the current crisis too and it has usually been right.
      I sense that the Welsh National Anthem bit is, let us say, rather passe, don’t you think?

      • Posted June 30, 2009 at 8:27 am | Permalink


        Interesting comment.

        I said a number of months ago (on this site) that bloggers on this site would probably be on some sort of list somewhere.

        It is proof, if what you say is true, that we have now reached a new low in this Country with regard to free speech.

        How well I remember a loyal Labour supporter being turfed out of the Labour Party Conference under the terrorist laws, because he uttered a few words.

        The sad fact is that we feel a need to blog anywhere at all, such is our disgust with the present shambles.

        We are perhaps not as far away from a Communist thinking state as you, and many others perhaps think.

    • Posted June 30, 2009 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      JR, hopefully he is taking out of the £14 billion the English pour into Wales each year, on top of the benefit payments that is. “True am I to my country”, as long as the English are paying.

      Question JR

      Did Gordo say what was happening to Capital Receipts for Council House sales? When I was a Councillor, these funds were quarantined in the balance sheet and only the interest was usable.

      Likewise the Housing Revenue Account “negative subsidy” (council house rent income sent to central government), was equivalent to 60% of our Council Tax yield. Is he doing away with that?

    • Posted June 30, 2009 at 7:26 am | Permalink


      Interesting comment.

      So what is he cutting from the Communities budget then ???.

      What was the Communities budget for ???

  4. Posted June 29, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Simple.Final Salary Pensions. I was a middling pen pusher and my pension is the same as an M.P,S. I promise you all it is unsustainable.

    My take home pay is way in excess of my take home pay when working. Madness

    • Posted June 29, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Imagine the return if you worked for the EU !!!

    • Posted June 29, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      well said ken, and thank you for your honesty.
      yes i’m afraid retirement pensions for state employees will have to be drastically scaled back, as many in the private sector (esp equitable) have already suffered.
      I could have offered my employees trips to the moon in 2014, but…
      and so current state employees must know that the promises made are utterly unrealistic.
      but how many, do you think, will be as brave as you and admit it?

  5. Posted June 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Permalink


    Totally agree that the Government are again deceiving the British people.

    On a seperate issue, I am sure that you have seen that John Blundell has stepped down from the role of DG for the IEA.

    As you plan your career next steps, may I urge you to consider this role. You would be the perfect person for re-vitalising the IEA. As a believer and someone who understands and can explain the workings of free markets, what better person to lead the IEA forward to influential times again.

    I hope that you take time out of your busy schedule to consider leading the IEA.

    Many of us Conservatives would value your steer at the helm of the leading right-wing think tank.

    Best regards


    reply: It is a full time job, which I could not do as well!

  6. Posted June 29, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I am pleased to say you sound a bit shirty again. Good.

  7. Posted June 29, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    The report I read said that the money would fund 110,000 houses.

    Gordon Brown is therefore planning to build houses for £13,636.36. each.

    Is he expecting deflation?

    • Posted June 30, 2009 at 7:30 am | Permalink


      And they say he was a good Chancellor !!!!!!!!

      The man needs to go to school, but not as a teacher of mathematics.

      I wonder if the above costs include land as well !!!!!

      I have built houses, they have cost me a little more.

      • Posted July 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, mathematic nonsense seems to be a Brown trait!

        In fact, the Homes and Commuities agency funds about 40% of build costs of new social homes, averaging £40k per unit built. Which is still three times the figure Brown implies.


  8. Posted June 29, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t bother, if we had a sensible population levels, we wouldn’t beed extra housing….It would also solve the Landfill problem and the Congestion Problem, funny how these problems are all ‘solved’ by Taxing us, if we didn’t have such a large population these problems would not exist, oh and our demand for oil would be less, and we wouldn’t need another Runway, and, well you get the Idea, We don’t need packing in like sardines and Taxing to death, lets have more space and more trees.
    what sort of a country do we wish to bequeath to our children…And they go on about Pollution, all the while concreting over our country.

    • Posted June 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      As no doubt argued in its 1973 Report by the government-appointed Population Panel, which concluded that “Britain would be better in future with a stationary rather than an increasing population”.

  9. Posted June 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I think that this is plainly a tacti to shore up the core council house labour voter, and outflank the BNP. Interestingly one of the reasons cited by the generally safe labour seats in Coalville that went to the BNP in the recent council elections was the plan to build 15000 houses around the town.

    Now I am sure that I am not the only one to notice how contradictatory voters are, but building houses loses as many or more votes as it gains, maybe many more.

    See also how unpopular the Eco town planned for Leics is, not least because of the favourable support given to the landowner who is a major labour party donor, the co-operative society. The co-op also owns the Labour Party overdraft, so I am sure hopes to recieve some of todays billions.

  10. Posted June 29, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    You are dealing with one of the worst Prime Ministers it has been this country’s misfortune to endure.

  11. Posted June 29, 2009 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I do not understand why you are surprised.

    You would be surprised if he gave you an answer.

    You would be even more surprised if it made sense.

    He will be surprised when he is voted out.

  12. Posted June 29, 2009 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that the problem with the Prime Minister’s answer is that it was incomplete. The answer he gave (as reported by Mr Sam, above) is that a particular department will have to reduce spending on other matters in order to spend it on houses. Assuming that to be a truthful answer, the position is either they have decided what will be jettisoned or they have not. Therefore, he should have either said it will come from the communities department but they haven’t decided how or it will come from the abandonment of defined projects. Either way, simply to say it will come from that department’s budget does not deal with the issue.

    Mr Brown has painted himself into a particularly stupid corner with his dishonest and disingenuous “we will not cut anything” approach. Any new initiative means borrowing more or not spending on something else that was previously planned. The former approach is economically illiterate, the latter confirms the lie.

  13. Posted June 29, 2009 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Its academic. For one thing he has a long reputation for double counting, so he’s probably double counting something announced before. And anyway, he’s unlikely to be around to be held to account for his by then forgotten “promise” by the time planning consent has been achieved for any of the proposed houses. So its really unimportant what he’s going to cut, because it won’t happen anyway. If that man told me night followed day I wouldn’t believe him.

  14. Posted June 30, 2009 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Actually, as the Zimbabwean thunder clouds begin to fill the sky, which, just a few months ago were just as small as a man’s hand, it has become very obvious that even sensible, influential people are starting to reach for their umbrellas.
    Jeremy Paxman last night went for a Junior Treasury Minister on Newsnight. He even, bless!, smiled at Theresa May. The Telegraph has noted not only that there is a scandal over housing benefit but that also that the total handed out in benefits is predicted to grow to £165 billion this year which is more than the Government raises in income tax.
    Your question was not thoroughly answered by a man who took the coming tempest seriously. You are right to be concerned. Me, I am downright scared!

  15. Posted June 30, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    My question for the future, what would a Conservative Government do to ensure that questions are answered truthfully and in full.

    We need much more thought as to how the peoples parliament is held to account openly and transparently instead of mob rule and half answers.

    A set of speakers with some legal training perhaps, to force compliance with house rules.

    Should there not be a contempt of parliament rule, but again who polices the police.

    It is truly an embarrassing spectacle/farce.

  16. Posted July 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Where have the cuts been made to bail out the banks would be a more pertinent question and the lack of questions regarding this, are conspicuous by their absence on this site.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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