HC Deb 07 May 1968 vol 764 cc192-3
2. Mr. Clegg

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what estimate he has now made of the increased cost to local authorities in the present financial year of their housing programmes due to the increase in the Selective Employment Tax, in cost of materials due to devaluation and to increased interest rates since 1st November, 1967.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. James MacColl)

The increase in materials added about 1 per cent. to the cost of the average dwelling and the rise in the Bank Rate may have added a further ¼per cent. Selective Employment Tax will not be increased until September and the effect for this financial year will be less than 1 per cent. These increases in costs need not increase tender prices to the same extent.

Mr. Clegg

Does not this mean that ratepayers and council tenants will suffer by paying more due to the incompetence of the Government's economic policy?

Mr. MacColl

No. If they are paying more, it is because of the tremendous success of the Government's housing policy.

Mr. Graham Page

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that his figures are not accepted by practical builders throughout the trade and that the increase is generally accepted to be 4 per cent.?

Mr. MacColl

That is a considerable exaggeration. The figures I gave were in answer to the Question. They do not deal with the other causes of increases in cost.

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