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CURRY IN DARK ON HOUSING NEED FIGURES

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Environment minister David Curry has admitted 'there is no such thing as an accurate figure' to quantify housing ne...
Environment minister David Curry has admitted 'there is no such thing as an accurate figure' to quantify housing need, prompting Labour claims that government housing policy is hopelessly inadequate.

Giving evidence on Wednesday to the environment select committee inquiry on housing need, Mr Curry said that estimating future housing need was an 'approximate business' and that government estimates were not 'immutable'.

Mr Curry was seeking to fend off criticism that ministers have underestimated housing need, as suggested in a Joseph Rowntree Foundation report published last year.

Labour housing spokesman Nick Raynsford said afterwards: 'The government has no answer to any of the serious housing problems the country faces.'

He cited housebuilding statistics for the three months to November 1995 which reveal a 22% decline in new housing starts.
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