HC Deb 03 February 1970 vol 795 cc196-7
13. Mr. Gurden

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will introduce legislation to enable him to assist local authorities to avoid some part of the increases in rents on municipal houses made necessary by increased interest rates.

Mr. Denis Howell

The Housing Subsidies Act, 1967, already does this.

Mr. Gurden

Is this the Minister's reward to the City of Birmingham for building 30,000 houses in the last four years, that it has to suffer these unprecedentedly high interest rates? Does he expect the general ratepayer to pay the bill, or should the municipal tenants have a rise in rent?

Mr. Howell

The first part of that question is a ludicrous proposition, since interest charges affect both the efficient and inefficient local authorities. The question of what goes into the housing management account, and should therefore be properly borne by municipal tenants as distinct from ratepayers, is a matter for local council procedure and local electoral considerations.