HC Deb 21 January 1970 vol 794 cc504-5
27. Mr. Adam Hunter

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from tenants' associations and local authorities following his decision on limiting rent increases for local authority houses; and what replies he has sent.

Mr. Ross

None, Sir. My noble Friend the Minister of State agreed with the local authority associations the guidelines for future policy, of which I informed my hon. Friend on 7th November.—[Vol. 790, c. 184–5.]

Mr. Hunter

In view of that reply, would my right hon. Friend be able to say how many representations he has had from individuals and organisations complaining about some local authorities exceeding the rent increase suggested in a recent statement? Will he not agree that the rent increases will bear heavily on those people who are in the lower income group and who do not qualify for rent rebate?

Mr. Ross

The guidelines were selected and the decisions taken because of our experience in the past that few local authorities have sought to go beyond them. If this is accepted, nobody should go beyond the agreed limits which have been laid down.

Mr. Galbraith

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what is the expected effect of his decision to limit rent increases on rate increases? Surely it will have an effect on rates.

Mr. Ross

I have no idea, but the hon. Gentleman must know that one of the points in the guidelines is that rent increases are justified in accordance with the rate position.