§ 44. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Minister of Education if he is aware that the £80,000 contribution by parents towards a school in the diocese of Salford costing £165,000 would, because of new interest rates, mean their having ultimately to provide £200,000; and if he will consider reducing the additional burdens imposed in this and other cases.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd
The hon. Member has been good enough to give me the name of the school he has in mind, and my inquiries show that the school was largely completed before the increase in Bank Rate. The Governors did not apply to me for a loan.
§ Mr. Allaun
Does not the fantastic increase in interest rates mean that parents who, by voluntary financial sacrifice have been paying twice for education, will now have to pay three times? Does not this make a difficult task impossible?
§ 50. Mr. Allaun
asked the Minister of Education, in view of the recent increase in the Bank Rate, if he will consider providing loans at low interest rates for the school building programme, or, alternatively, raising to 75 per cent. the present Government grant of 50 per cent. of the cost of building church schools.
§ Mr. Allaun
Does not the Minister agree that an entirely new situation has been created which makes the burden unfair, unanticipated and intolerable? What are these parents to do?
§ Mr. H. Fraser
Quite apart from the 7 per cent. Bank Rate, would not my right hon. Friend consider the question of church schools in a new light? It is almost impossible for the church communities to go on suffering under the disabilities they have under the Act of 1944. After this passage of time, surely there is need of revision? It would be a bad thing if this matter were to become a political issue. Would not my right hon. Friend consider meeting deputations from both sides of the House on this issue of the revision of the Act of 1944?