HC Deb 06 May 1969 vol 783 cc244-5
19 and 20. Sir B. Rhys Williams

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government (1) what is the subsidy available to a head of household earning £22 a week and buying his house through the option mortgage scheme; and what is the average subsidy provided in respect of an average family with the same income in a newly built council house, expressed in weekly terms;

(2) what is the annual total outgoing required to service the cost of the average new council house; and what proportions of it are met at current interest rates by, respectively, the Exchequer, the tenant, the contribution from rates and the profit accruing from letting older properties.

Mr. MacColl

It is impossible to give a valid comparison between the two subsidies in the terms laid out by the hon. Member because the Question starts from an erroneous assumption, that Exchequer subsidy is calculated on the householder's income. For a general assessment of the relative cost, both on average and in total, of housing subsidy and mortgage interest relief, I would refer him to the two replies given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Planning and Land on 20th December last to my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris).—[Vol. 775, c. 510–11.]

Sir B. Rhys Williams

Would it not be better to subsidise the families and not the houses? Does this way of spending public money provide a fair basis of competition with private enterprise?

Mr. MacColl

My right hon. Friend has always encouraged, and continues to encourage, local authorities to use their subsidy by a rebate scheme to help families who need assistance most.

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