§ 43. Mr. Swingler
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if, in view of the hardship suffered by many of those obliged to meet the cost of making up private streets under the Private Street Works Act, 1892, he will forthwith authorise and enable local authorities to issue interest-free or low interest loans to householders to assist them in meeting these charges.
§ Mr. Bevins
No, Sir. This is a complex subject and before considering changes my right hon. Friend must see what emerges from the survey he has instituted.
§ Mr. Swingler
Is it not now admitted by the Department that the law on this subject is obsolete and that a survey is being undertaken on the way in which citizens are hard hit? Is it not grossly unfair that citizens placed in this position should have to pay interest at the rate of 5¾ per cent. to meet these charges when they have to borrow the money, because they find it impossible to pay immediately. Surely something can be done about it.
§ Mr. Bevins
The hon. Gentleman overlooks the fact that if loans which were interest free, or at an artificially low rate of interest, were offered to people who are liable for road charges, that would put a burden on millions of other people who had already discharged their liability to pay road charges.