§ 56. Mr. KELLY
asked the Minister of Health why he has requested the Paignton Urban District Council to raise the rents of the 147 tenants of houses built under the 1919 Act; whether the council has 1902 agreed to raise the rents 1s. per week on and from the 1st April, 1929; and whether, when the rents were fixed, they were deemed to be adequate?
The present average rent, namely 8s. 3d., of the 147 houses mentioned which were built under the Housing Act, 1919, is considered too low in view of the rent of 12s. for which similar council houses provided under the Housing Act, 1924, are let. The extent to which the rents should be increased has recently been discussed with the council, and I understand that the council now propose to increase the rents by 1s. from 31st March, 1929. The rents originally fixed were 1s. a week higher than those at present charged, and were reduced on the representation of the local authority.
I have pointed out that the rents of similar houses built under the 1924 Act were 12s., against 8s. 3d., which are being charged here.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
Is it not a fact that there is an obligation on the Government, in connection with the houses built under the Addison Scheme, to base the rent, not upon post-War, but upon pre-War rentals?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that in the conditions laid down by the Tribunal when rents were fixed, it was definitely stated that the fixture had to be on the basis of pre-War, and not post-War houses of a similar nature?
The hon. Member has omitted to notice that the figure to which the rents are now raised was the original figure fixed.
Because the price of the houses has gone up by so much in consequence of the subsidy.