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The Government's Contempt for Rural People - Roger Williams

2009 Rhagfyr 17 6:00 AM

Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire and Liberal Democrat Foodand Rural Affairs spokesperson, has today said that young and first-timebuyers in rural areas are in danger of being priced out of the marketthanks to the huge increase in rural house prices under the LabourGovernment.

Mr Williams' comments came after Regional Affairs Minister Ian Austinreleased data showing that the cost of buying a home in a rural area ofEngland has at least doubled in almost every part of the country sinceLabour came to power in 1997.

There are now fears that a lack of affordable rural housing will meanthat those on lower incomes, especially young people looking to buytheir first home, may be forced to leave rural areas.

Mr Williams said:

"These figures are a damning example of the Government's failure to lookafter the interests of people in rural communities.

"Over the last decade or so house prices in rural area have risen out ofall proportion forcing many people to leave the place where they grew upin order to find a house they can actually afford.

"This is a very dangerous state of affairs as such a mass exodus ofyoung and lower income earners could have a serious impact on the workforces of rural community in years to come.

"We need to ensure that anyone who wishes to buy a home in a rural areais able to do so and that the focus of future developments in ruralareas is on affordable housing rather than lavish properties for therichest in our society."