HC Deb 23 October 1956 vol 558 cc472-3
31 and 32. Mr. Allaun

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government (1) by how much he proposes to permit an increase in restricted rents ;

(2) what steps he intends to take to ensure that increases in restricted rents are spent on repairing or improving the houses concerned before amending the Rent Restriction Acts to permit such increases.

Mr. Sandys

A year ago I informed the House that the Government had decided to review the provisions of the Rent Acts. This review is now completed, and we have come to the conclusion that, subject to necessary safeguards, rent control should be progressively abolished. Our detailed proposals will be submitted to Parliament in due course.

Mr. Allaun

Is the Minister aware that, since his Llandudno speech and up to this morning, the shares of eight leading housing property companies have risen by £2,400,000 in anticipation of higher rents and higher dividends, and does the Minister admit that the present tragic housing shortage is bound to be exploited by very many landlords if he makes them this unconditional gift of unrestricted rents?

Mr. Sandys

I do not follow the movement of these shares as closely as the hon. Member. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] We shall, no doubt, have plenty of opportunities of discussing all these matters together before very long.