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12May94 UK: JACKERS JOURNAL - GOVERNMENT PLANS TO DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO HELP THE HOUSE-BUILDING INDUSTRY

The Government plans to do absolutely nothing to help the house building industry - and that is official.Labour's Peter Pike asked construction minister Sir George Young last week 'what plans his department has to revitalise the construction industry to ensure an increase in the permanent dwellings started in 1994'?Back came the answer from Sir George.He began: 'The construction industry will continue to benefit from the range of government policies which are leading to a sustained economic recovery.'The phrase 'continue to benefit' might, of course, be news to builders who have gone bust and to the 500,000 construction workers who have lost jobs during the recession.But Sir George went on: 'These have brought about substantial falls in interest rates leading to more affordable home ownership. The industry also benefits from our approach of bringing in private sector resources to increase output from our social housing programmes.'Which leaves me puzzling over the following question.Which Government, of which Sir George was a member, put up interest rates in the first place, fuelled house price inflation with a runaway boom, and has slashed its own spending on social housing this year? CONSTRUCTION NEWS