HC Deb 01 November 1966 vol 735 cc237-8
27. Mr. Costain

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will now make a statement on his consultations with the local authority associations, which have been in progress for some time, about the rent structure of local authorities.

Mr. Greenwood

Formal consultations with the local authority associations on rent rebate schemes will start shortly in connection with the proposed new legislation on housing subsidies.

Mr. Costain

Is not the Minister aware that 12 months ago, in November, 1965, paragraph 41 of The Housing Programme 1965 to 1970 White Paper said that both on tenancy and rent policies there would be consultations with local authorities? Is he telling the House that this has been delayed for 12 months?

Mr. Greenwood

It has been delayed because it was connected with the Bill which was introduced before the General Election and which then lapsed. That Bill will now be reintroduced in the near future and the discussions will take place in the light of the Bill we shall introduce. Our policy remains exactly the same as that set out in paragraph 41 of the White Paper.

Mr. Winnick

On the subject of rent structure, would not my right hon. Friend agree that it would be most unfair for council rents to be raised during the present freeze on incomes?

Mr. Greenwood

We appealed to councils not to increase their rents during the current six months. Only 14 out of 1,200 housing authorities raised their rents.

Mr. Rippon

Does the Minister agree that on the same assumption it would be wrong to raise rates?

Hon. Members