HC Deb 18 November 1957 vol 578 c10
16. Dr. King

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the number of tenant occupiers in Southampton who have received increased rent allowances since the Rent Act became law; and how many of these cases were referred to him because the rent increase was above twice the gross rateable value.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Up to 2nd November, 1957, the National Assistance Board's offices in Southampton, which serve an area extending beyond the city, had increased about 900 weekly assistance grants to provide for rent increases under the Rent Act. There is no reason why any case such as is suggested in the latter part of the Question should be referred to me, but in any event the National Assistance Board informs me that it is not aware of any case where the rent increase for which the Board is providing exceeds the increase permitted under the Act.

Dr. King

While thanking the Minister for what he and his local officers are doing to alleviate some of the worse evils of the Rent Act, may I ask him to confirm that local officers are entitled to meet even unreasonable increases in rent by profiteering landlords in decontrolled houses? Will he protect his Department by persuading the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Housing and Local Government to put a ceiling to the rent increases that can be made?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I do not think the last part of the supplementary arises out of the original Question. As to the earlier part of the supplementary, I made a considered statement on the policy of the National Assistance Board in this House on 1st August, to which I prefer not to add.