HC Deb 28 November 1967 vol 755 cc213-4
15. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will now relax his recent restrictions on loans by local authorities for home purchase.

Mr. Greenwood

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply to the Question by the on. Member for Northants, South (Mr. Arthur Jones) on 14th November.—[Vol. 754, c. 72.]

Mr. Digby

But is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the case of very small rural district councils this means a loan for only one house a year, or possibly one and a half houses, which is unduly restrictive?

Mr. Greenwood

If the hon. Gentleman has any examples in which it is possible to give advances in respect of only one house or two houses in a year, perhaps he will let me have them. The three local authorities in his constituency have not complained to us, although two of them did not get the amounts for which they asked. But there are anomalies in the working of the scheme, and we have recently agreed a new formula for 1967–68 with the local authority associations.

Mr. Macdonald

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that current restrictions mean that building societies get the best proposals whereas local authorities tend to lend on older property to people with fewer financial resources? Would it not be more equitable if public authorities received an even share of the good proposals as well?

Mr. Greenwood

It would be very desirable in every way for the amount made available to local authorities to be increased, but the present financial climate does not permit of it.

Mr. Arthur Jones

Would the Minister look into the question of the Towcester Rural District Council, where the availability of funds this year is under £700?

Mr. Greenwood

I will look into anything which the hon. Gentleman brings to my attention.