HC Deb 01 April 1963 vol 675 cc43-4
Sir K. Joseph

I beg to move, in page 31, line 27, at the end to add: (6) Any contributions which the Greater London Council carry to the credit of their Housing Revenue Account under paragraph 1 (5) or (6) of Schedule 5 to the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act 1958 for the year 1965–66 shall be treated as expenditure for special London purposes and be chargeable only on the inner London boroughs, the City and the Temples; and so much of any such contributions for the years hereinafter mentioned shall be treated and chargeable as aforesaid as is necessary to ensure that the amounts in the pound required to be levied for special London purposes and for general London purposes respectively by way of rates in respect of those contributions are as near as may be in the following proportions, that is to say—

  1. (a) for the year 1966–67, six to one;
  2. (b) for the year 1967–68, five to two;
  3. (c) for the year 1968–69, four to three;
  4. (d) for the year 1969–70, three to four;
  5. (e) for the year 1970–71, two to five;
  6. (f) for the year 1971–72, one to six;
and so much of paragraph 5 of the said Schedule 5 as authorises the Greater London Council to apply any surplus shown in their Housing Revenue Account at the end of a financial year towards making good to their general fund any such contributions as aforesaid for earlier years shall not apply to contributions for any year earlier than 1972–73. This Amendment complies with an undertaking given during the Committee stage to hon. Members on both sides of the House, in particular my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Barter), that any loss that might arise from the housing operations of the Greater London Council inheriting the L.C.C. stock of housing shall only be spread over the whole of the citizens of London as a whole over a period of years, because it would only be over a period of years that houses, either by new building or by way of relets, would become available for the use of citizens in the whole of Greater London.

My hon. Friend argued in Committee that it should be tapered over a period of ten years. The Government kept themselves free during the Committee stage to consider what would be the right time, and I must confess to the Committee that at the best of times this decision must be somewhat of an arbitrary one. The Government believe that the right scale would be to allow this cost to be spread over a period of seven years, and that is what is embodied in the Amendment. I cannot defend it in the sense of saying that six or eight years would be absolutely wrong, but seven years seems to be about right.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.