Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Thursday, 17 November 2011

Scottish Conservatives: Housing debate

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Scottish Conservative communities and housing spokesman Alex Johnstone accused the SNP of "an anti right-to-buy prejudice" during a Conservative debate on Housing on 17 November 2011.

He said the decision by East Lothian Council to buy back old council houses was a rehash of that prejudice.

Mr Johnstone said the action goes against everything the SNP had promised about supporting construction jobs and said the party's housing policy was "confused and contradictory".

His motion encourages the Scottish government to remove the limitations on the right to buy contained in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010.

He also called the planning system in Scotland "unpredictable and ponderous" and said there was a need for a system which was faster and more efficient.

The Scottish government has published its strategy and action plan for housing for the next decade, in Homes Fit for the 21st Century.

Housing minister Keith Brown told MSPs the Scottish government has announced £460 million will be invested to build 4,300 homes as part of its commitment to build 30,000 affordable homes during this parliamentary session.

He said the SNP had accelerated capital spending on affordable housing, kickstarted a new generation of council housing and funded a shared equity scheme.

Mr Brown accused Mr Johnstone of "confused thinking."

Scottish Labour's infrastructure and capital investment spokesman Lewis Macdonald again challenged the housing minister to explain why the SNP's election manifesto commitment to build six thousand 'socially rented' homes per year had changed to a government commitment to build six thousand 'affordable' homes per year.

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