I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time".
Supplementary Estimates, 1982. - Housing Finance Agency (Amendment) Bill, 1982: Second and Subsequent Stages.
This is a technical Bill which, obviously, having been prepared by myself I agree with. I should like to congratulate the Minister on his appointment to the Department of the Environment and I wish him well in his term of office which, hopefully, will be brief. In wishing him well I can assure him that he will have the assistance of some of the best officials in the public service. I have no doubt that they will extend to him the same loyalty which they extended to me when I was in charge of that Department. I am delighted to let this Bill go through the House. Without introducing any note of rancour I should like to take this opportunity to ask the Minister if he will give us some idea of the finance he intends to make available to honour the commitment with regard to the construction of the 30,000 houses which have been mentioned. I admire the goal of 30,000 houses but, having regard to the constraints of the budget and the constraints of national borrowing and the current budget deficit, will the Minister take this opportunity, without going into too much detail, to tell us where the funds will come from?
I should like to thank Deputy Burke for his kind remarks. Of the three options he gave me I will take the one which suits me most on this occasion. I was in the Department for a number of hours this morning. It is my intention to make the information available to the House as quickly as possible. Information will be forthcoming at an early date on my intentions and my plans to move towards the target of 30,000 new starts on housing next year.
Did the Minister say 30,000 new starts next year?
That is correct.
I am glad to hear that.