HC Deb 21 February 1972 vol 831 cc888-9
24. Mr. Alan Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many council houses there are in Wales.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

It is estimated that there were 260,000 at the end of 1971.

Mr. Williams

Does the hon. Gentleman recognise that a policy which deliberately imposes rent increases will inevitably force up the cost of living for people on low incomes, particularly in Wales, and will trigger off defensive wage claims? Will he therefore bear in mind that in the next year he may see many such claims in view of the Government's regressive rent legislation plus V.A.T.?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

The hon. Gentleman's Question referred to the number of council houses in Wales and not to rents.

Mr. Kinnock

When the Minister's officials discuss the future of housing in Wales with local authorities and the question of rents comes up, do they tell those local authorities that in the event of their promising not to comply with the Housing Finance Bill until it becomes law, the withdrawal of subsidies and other finance is threatened in respect of the period before the Measure becomes law?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

That does not arise on this Question.

Mr. George Thomas


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