HC Deb 25 October 1960 vol 627 cc2127-8
9. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer following the raising of interest rates on Public Works Loan Board loans to 6⅛ per cent., what will be the eventual total cost of a council house costing £1,600 to build after repayment over 60 years.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The total amount repayable on a loan of £1,600 over 60 years at 6⅛ per cent. is £6,042.

Mr. Allaun

Is the Minister aware that it is this fantastic interest burden which has halved council house building in the last six years? As the Minister of Housing and Local Government admitted a few days ago that only councils would build houses to let, and as people cannot afford to buy their own houses, will the right hon. Gentleman sympathetically consider giving cheaper housing loans to help the people on the long waiting lists?

Mr. Lloyd

I am aware of the concern about this matter. The latest increase makes a difference of £111, but I think that the matter has to be considered in the whole context of investment in the public sector. I have said that I will lay a White Paper on that topic in the near future. I think that these matters might be better debated on that White Paper.

Mr. H. Wilson

Does not this figure come as a shock even to the Chancellor of the Exchequer? In view of the high cost of local authority building and the effect on industrial investment, will not the right hon. and learned Gentleman recognise that his 6 per cent. Bank Rate is only piling up a lot of hot money which we do not want, and do not need, and cannot afford, and take some steps to deal with it?

Mr. Lloyd

Those statements are matters for debate.