HC Deb 17 June 1964 vol 696 cc1259-60
6. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the number of authorities in the current year receiving £12, £32 and higher basic subsidies, respectively, under the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1962; and how the average subsidy so received compares with the rate payable before that Act was passed.

Mr. Noble

Claims by 113 local authorities for the basic subsidies under the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1962, have so far been settled for the financial year 1963–64. Fifty authorities have qualified for £12 per house in respect of a total of 1,222 houses, and 63 authorities for £32 or more in respect of a total of 6,742 houses. The average subsidy paid on these claims is £30 11s. per house, compared with the flat rate of £24 per house paid under the Housing and Town Development (Scotland) Act, 1957.

Mr. Brewis

Is it not clear that these changes in the subsidy provisions are helping very considerably with the housing programme in Scotland?

Mr. Noble

The number of tenders approved this year would suggest that my hon. Friend was right.

Mr. Ross

If that is so, why was it that we built a greater number of local authority houses in the year before these things were available compared with the number built after?

Mr. Noble

I am not sure to which year the hon. Gentleman refers, but certainly the figures for this year show a very encouraging rise.

Mr. Gourlay

Can the Secretary of State say how a comparison of the two subsidy rates which he announced this afternoon is relevant when in a Written Answer yesterday to a Question which I put to him he stated that the comparisons which I suggested were not too dissimilar were irrelevant? What justification does he have for refusing hon. Members information which is available to him?

Mr. Noble

I do my best to give hon. Members all the information available to me.