§ 2. Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has now completed the consultations with the local authority associations regarding the new form of housing subsidies.
§ Mr. Skinner
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the longer the consultations with the local authority associations go on, the more alarming the prospect of massive council rent increases becomes? Will he now tell the House that there will 1471 be no council rent increases of £1 a week as a result of the negotiations and the cuts that will follow?
§ Mr. Frank Allaun
How did the councils react to the right hon. Gentleman's recent statement that loans already entered into for 60 years at 4 per cent. will not be honoured? Is not it inevitable that his scheme, whatever it is, will mean the doubling and trebling of many council rents following the reduction of the subsidy by £150 million a year?
§ Mr. Crosland
Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the recent report of the National Economic Development Office suggesting that council house building, if nothing is done, is likely to decline throughout the decade? What element in the proposed new policy is likely to arrest that decline?
§ Mr. Amery
The right hon. Gentleman should await my fuller statement when my deliberations with the local authority associations are completed. But I can say here and now that one aim of our proposals is to give the local authorities greater resources and greater incentive to build in the areas of stress.