HC Deb 13 June 1972 vol 838 cc1245-6
15. Mr. Thomas Cox

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what instructions have been given by his Department regarding rent increases for tenants living in property owned by regional hospital boards.

Mr. Alison

Hospital authorities are expected to review rents once a year so as to keep in line with the rents of comparable properties in the neighbourhood either by comparison with rents charged by local authorities for similar properties, or, when this information is not available, by obtaining the advice of the district valuer.

Mr. Cox

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that in my constituency there have already been flat-rate increases of over £1 a week for workers who are not highly paid? As they have no right of appeal—they live in what is really a tied cottage system—surely he will reconsider this and give these people the right of appeal, and also take note of the hard- ship that these increases are causing to many of them.

Mr. Alison

The hon. Gentleman will know that hospital tenants are eligible for rebates from the authorities. If he would like to send me details of the particular difficulties in his constituency, I will certainly look at them.