HC Deb 09 July 1957 vol 573 c172
14. Mr. Parkin

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will now draw up proposals to increase contributions to housing authorities borne on the Vote of his Department towards the cost of special housing schemes for old people, in view of the rent increases permitted by the Rent Act.

Mr. H. Brooke

No, Sir. There is already a general subsidy for one-bedroom dwellings to encourage housing authorities to provide accommodation for old people.

Mr. Parkin

Bearing in mind that considerable sums of taxpayers' money will be spent through other Departments as a result of increased payments by the National Assistance Board, does the Minister consider it within his responsibility to take note of these other payments and to advise the Government whether the money is being spent less wisely that way or whether more use could be made of it through direct subsidies to local authorities for old people's housing?

Mr. Brooke

The question relates to contributions to local housing authorities and I pointed out the wisdom of the Government in having arranged that, although the general need subsidy should not remain for other houses, it should remain for the one-bedroomed house, because what we had in mind was precisely the special needs of old people for housing.

Mr. Gower

If the Government had followed the Labour Party's programme of municipal ownership of private houses, would not the increases of rent have been on a far larger scale?

Mr. Brooke

I think that is quite certain.

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