HC Deb 05 April 1967 vol 744 cc243-4
50. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on his proposals for increased rents in new towns, stating in detail the reasons for such increases and whether the proposals conform with the prices and incomes policy.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

The scheme which the new town development corporations have introduced, with my right hon. Friend's agreement, is based on the principles that tenants should be aware in advance of their rent commitment over a period; that by the end of the period reasonable standard rents should be payable; and that these standard rents should be reduced for tenants with incomes below certain levels.

The Government are satisfied that the scheme conforms to our prices and incomes policy: increases will not take effect until after 30th June, and many lower paid tenants will have their rents reduced next month.

Mr. Hamilton

Why has not this scheme been published or sent to Members who are particularly affected by it? Second, what consultations took place with the development corporations and the local authorities within the neighbourhood of the new towns before the scheme was produced?

Dr. Mabon

In conformity with past practice, the final proposals were made known to the local authorities near the time when publication had taken place. I am sorry that my hon. Friend has not had this information. I shall see that hon. Members representing new towns are informed of the proposal as it affects the four new towns in Scotland.

Consultations on this matter have been going on since 1965 and, specifically, we consulted one local authority, the East Kilbride Town Council, as early as March, 1965 about how we would proceed on this important matter.