HC Deb 08 November 1971 vol 825 cc629-30
21. Mr. Kinnock

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give an estimate of the average fair rent in Wales arising from the proposed application of the principles laid down in the Command Paper, Fair Deal for Housing.

Mr. Gibson-Watt:

Fair rents will depend on the character, size and location of the particular dwelling and an average fair rent cannot be estimated. Some tenants will pay less. Any rent increases will be phased by an average annual amount of 50p per week. Those who need help will be entitled to rebates or allowances.

Mr. Kinnock:

In view of the fact that, a few years ago, a Minister of Housing undertook a review of housing finance and found that on the basis of the present fair rents scheme now proposed the average rent rise in Wales would be about £2 a week, is not it strange that, with all the limitations of that review, he cannot come clean now and admit that there will be a £2 a week rise in rents if the fair rents system is introduced?

Mr. Gibson-Watt:

On this occasion, the hon. Gentleman is wrong. I can only repeat what I said when I last answered Questions. This is the first time that any Government have tried to bring fair rents into our housing policy.

Mr. Abse:

Since it is quite clear that rent increases in Wales will be substantial and that inevitably they will lead to a very proper demand for higher wages, is not it extraordinarily irresponsible that no research has been done into the consequences of rent increases in Wales? Is the hon. Gentleman saying that he is prepared to put through a Bill of this kind, knowing that it will mean a tumultuous rise in the cost of living in Wales, without any knowledge of what the consequences are likely to be?

Mr. Gibson-Watt:

Perhaps I might draw the hon. Gentleman's attention to the last sentence of my original reply. I said that those who need help will be entitled to rebates or allowances.

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