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Shapps accused over “misleading” housing stats

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  • 11/06/2012
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Shapps accused over “misleading” housing stats
Housing Minister Grant Shapps has come under fire from the opposition who have complained about his “consistent misrepresentation and misuse” of official housing and homelessness data to the UK Statistics Authority.

In a letter to the authority chairman, Shadow housing minister Jack Dromey lists six examples where he alleges Shapps misrepresented data.

The figures range from the supply of homes between 1997-2010, rough sleeping and the cost of self-builds, reported the BBC.

In one example, Shapps told parliament that the number of houses being built in England was rising by 25% 2011 compared to 2009, however government statistics showed that annual housing starts were down 4% in 2011 from the previous year.

Dromey said he believed Shapps’ “casual attitude” is obstructing genuine public debate.

Shapps (pictured) has dismissed Dromey’s letter as an “incomprehensible rant.”

Shapps said: “Not only did his government fail to build more homes, despite the apparent good times, but they actually introduced programmes designed to destroy entire neighbourhoods.

“Their housing market renewal programme bulldozed 10,000 homes, whilst only replacing 1,000. So, just to be clear, no-one did more to destroy our nation’s homes since the Luftwaffe bombs of World War II.”

Earlier this year, Dromey accused David Cameron and Grant Shapps of telling the House of Commons private rents in the UK had been falling in February, when official data from LSL Property Services had suggested otherwise.

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