HC Deb 21 February 1972 vol 831 cc878-9
9. Mr. Roderick

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the surplus expected in the combined housing revenue accounts of all the local authorities in Wales in 1976.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Since this would be dependent on a number of as yet undetermined factors, no reliable estimate can be given. But if any such surplus does occur in 1976, I would not expect it to be significant.

Mr. Roderick

Is the Minister aware that the Housing Finance Bill anticipates such a surplus in that it makes provision about what is to happen to such a surplus? How does he justify handing over the use of this surplus to the Department of the Environment? Will he explain why it is that the better-off tenants of local authorities will be expected to help the poorer tenants in private houses and local authority houses rather than the load be spread over the community as a whole?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I am sorry to say to the hon. Gentleman that I do not think he can have read the Bill. In answer to his question I would say that the undetermined factors to which I have referred include the level of fair rents, qualification for subsidy, the future house-building programme, and decisions by individual authorities on the future treatment of working balances.