Natalie Bennett appeared better briefed on her party’s housing policy at an election debate on Thursday evening, after struggling to explain it in a recent interview.
The Green Party leader, who appeared on the panel at the PinkNews Debate was asked the question of what the party would do to make houses more affordable to buy for “generation rent”.
Evan Davis went to Natalie Bennett first who joked that the Green Party policy was now “ingrained on her brain”, after an interview on LBC during which she got “brain fade”, and found it difficult to explain the Green Party’s policy for building new housing.
“£27 billion of money coming for removing mortgage rate relief for landlords and allowing councils to borrow. Just to put that one down,” she began.
“To answer the question more directly, I think we have to start up with why we have a housing crisis, which is that we’ve come to regard housing as more of a financial asset than providing people with safe, affordable homes which you can feel like is your home.”
She also said the Green Party would introduce rent caps to stabilise the cost of private rented homes.
The Lib Dems’ Chief Whip Don foster said the reduction in social housing under the last Labour Government was a “disgrace”. He hailed the coalition’s efforts to build social housing, and other initiatives, but said there was still a desperate need for more new houses.
He concluded: “Rent control simply doesn’t work.”
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Peter Whittle, Culture Spokesman for UKIP, said: “You can’t plan for how many houses to build if you don’t know how many people are going to be coming into the country every year.”
Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper
She also criticised the Government for not building enough houses since 2010, saying house building was at its “lowest rate in decades”, and that each year there should be at least double the number of new houses built, from 110,000 to 220,000.
Evan Davis told Tina Stowell that there had been an “astonishing decline” in homeownership, and that Britain and France are now almost equal in percentages of homeowners.
Baker and McKenzie