The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
My Speech in Today's Budget Debate
Posted Wednesday, 22 November 2017 at 15:10

I rise to speak to the Chancellor’s announcement and commitment to building 300,000 homes per year and to launch an enquiry into land banking.

I have waited for twelve and a half years to stand today and deliver this speech. As someone who called a council estate home until my late twenties, I understand more than most the benefits and the joy of home ownership – and I, more than most, have been disappointed at the failure of consecutive political parties and governments to facilitate the building of homes.

Those benefits were brought home to me during a seminal moment on the doorstep during the 2017 election. I was canvassing, Mr Deputy Speaker, as we do, in the Stoppsley ward of Luton, when I knocked on the door of a lady who recognised me.

She said I could never vote or you if you stood here be an MP because I know about you – you support home ownership and the right to buy. I confirmed that this was indeed true and it was in fact the reason, the fundamental reason why I was a Conservative.

And them she went on to tell me that she was a trade unionist. She thought that home ownership was destructive to society - that people who owned their own homes focused on financial capital as opposed to social capital.

I asked her why this was the case and she told me that it should be very obvious, people who have mortgages don’t strike.

She said, something happens to people when they own a house, they focus on personal advancement – and she said it Mr Deputy Speaker, as though this was a bad thing. They think more about earning money to spend on their homes. They take an interest in the economy.

I thought about this many times because you see, for me, home ownership is so important, I regard it as a fundamental right. When Tony Blair became Prime Minister, one of the first things he did was to scrap Right to Buy and then went on to open our borders years ahead of other EU countries to allow unfettered immigration piling instant pressure onto our housing stock.

The conversation I had with the lady in Stoppsley took me back to the time my mother became a home owner and to the estate I lived on and what happened to the people on that estate when they became home owners and mortgage payers for the first time. Unlike my trade unionist lady on the doorstep, to strike or not to strike, didn’t seem to feature with the new mortgage holders.

Up to that point, front doors had all been painted the same colour by the council. The people who had gardens on the ground floor, had their gardens divided with packing cases there were no flowers, and the place was grey.

But, home ownership changed people overnight for the better, it was as though the moment people stopped paying rent and their monthly outgoings became a mortgage, they opened their eyes and took a pride in their homes. The front doors began to be painted in different colours, expressing individuality.

Flowers were planted in borders, packing cases were replaced with painted fences.

But something else happened too. The men who worked in the local factory began to work overtime, and for the first time, the first car appeared in our street and then another. 

Women who had stayed at home, went out to work and rather than home ownership becoming a replacement for social responsibility, I believe it became a driver for women’s equality.

My mother who had trained as a teacher was busy at night with people coming to her for help with night school classes, in fact, my mother ran a night school that was heaving. People began to sell their first homes and move up the ladder, just as the UK saw its last building boom in the 70’s as new estates popped up across the UK.

Mr Deputy Speaker, the young people today are as despondent as my parents once were. Their chance of owning a home is a distant option for many young people, especially those living in London. The crash of 2008 blocked any chance for many young people to step onto the property owning ladder and, as a result, the price of home ownership has been but a dream for many.

You only have to speak to the young researchers and staff who work here in the palace. They are in their mid-thirties before they can even begin to place their first foot on the housing ladder. The goal, the aim, the aspiration to become a home owner when we were young is missing from their lives.

That is why the announcement today to build 300,000 homes a year is so important, for families too. 

Renting in the UK is destabilising and demoralising for many families

Dead money, the prospect of possibly having to pack up and move every six months, instability for adults and children but worse of all, it’s the hopelessness of renting that demotivates people to improve their life chances. Why would anyone want to retrain, to upskill if the money they pay for accommodation is being earned to line someone else’s pocket?

 
 
 
 
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at: nadine.dorries.mp@parliament.uk
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

 
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