HC Deb 21 February 1972 vol 831 cc892-3
39. Mr. Michael Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many housing authorities in Wales do not, at present, operate rent rebate schemes.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Housing authorities are not required to inform me whether or not they operate rent rebate schemes. At least 60 do and their schemes cover nearly 60 per cent. of local authority dwellings.

Mr. Roberts

Does my hon. Friend agree that those authorities which do not operate rent rebate schemes, many of them Socialist-controlled, should be encouraged to follow the example of the large county borough authorities?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Certainly the Cardiff City Council intends to begin operating a rent rebate scheme based on the prescribed model from April, 1972. It has already circulated its tenants to this effect, and I welcome its initiative in taking this step. This comes about as a result of the provisions of the Housing Finance Bill. The benefits of the rent rebate scheme will be available to all council tenants in Wales and not merely those now covered by existing schemes.

Mr. George Thomas

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that what the Government are doing is increasing the rents of our people as from 1st April, and that he would do far better to come clean about it?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I have said already to the right hon. Gentleman that this is the first Government to try to bring justice into rents in this country.