§ 44. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government by how much the weekly rent of a corporation house or flat costing £1,800, the loan for which is repayable over sixty years, will be increased by the latest increase in interest rates; how many local authorities have informed him of a reduction or ending of their housing programmes; and if he will take steps to reduce the greatly increased burden of interest charges.
§ 75. Mr. Blenkinsop
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many local authorities have informed him of their intention of reducing their slum clearance and old people's housing programmes since the announcement of a 7 per cent. Bank Rate.
§ The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Mr. H. Brooke)
Local authorities are responsible for fixing rents, and the effect on rents of the recent increase in interest rates will depend upon the policy of local authorities. Some nineteen local authorities have informed me of their decision to reduce their housing programmes. There have been reports in the Press that a number of others have taken similar decisions. 773 In answer to the third part of the Question from the hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun), I would refer him to my statement during yesterday's debate.
§ Mr. Allaun
If the Minister really understands the misery of hundreds of thousands of families who have already waited up to twelve years on housing lists, why does not he resist within the Cabinet this slaughter of the housing programme?
§ Mr. Brooke
This is a matter which we debated at length yesterday, and the Opposition had a rather bad day.