§ 18. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will now make a statement on his review of housing subsidies.
§ Mr. Allaun
Since the review is due shortly, in reaching his conclusions will the Minister bear two points in mind? First, it is the Government's doubling of interest rates that has doubled council house rents and, secondly, it is not the tenants who are being subsidised so much as the financiers?
§ Sir K. Joseph
No, I cannot bear those points in mind, either in the form in which they are put by the hon. Member or exclusively. The point I will bear in mind is that it is the duty of the Government to see that people can be decently housed by local authorities, regardless of their means—and there is no evidence whatever to show that this is not the case today.
§ Mr. Lipton
Is the Minister not prepared to review the whole position in the light of the very alarming figures which have been released by the Town and Country Planning Association and which show that the right hon. Gentleman has grossly under-estimated the magnitude of the problem?
§ Sir K. Joseph
A later Question appears on the Order Paper on this subject. The hon. Gentleman's imputation is completely wrong. This Question is 1010 about housing subsidies, about which a review is going on.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
Will the Minister at any rate relieve the anxiety of those local authorities which fear that he may be using as soon as he can his powers under the 1961 Act to refuse or abolish existing subsidies?