HC Deb 19 March 1973 vol 853 cc8-9
7. Mr. John

asked the Secretary of State for Wales by what percentage on average the rent of council house tenants in Wales will rise because of rate revaluation.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

This information is not available.

Mr. John

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that calculations made by the local authorities suggest that the rate element in council house rents will rise by over 50 per cent., even taking into account Government help? Does he not think that that is a gratuitous and unnecessary hardship to impose on council house tenants after the savage attacks made upon them by the Housing Finance Act?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

The gratuitous and unnecessary hardship to which the hon. Gentleman refers might well have been avoided if his party had not run away from revaluation in 1968. Secondly, I remind the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in his Budget Statement that the Government would be giving additional help to domestic ratepayers who face large increases in their rates due to revaluation.

Mr. McBride


Mr. Gibson-Watt

The peanuts to which the hon. Gentleman refers will cost the nation £10 million.

Mr. William Edwards

Can the hon. Gentleman explain why an urgent revaluation is necessary of the rates borne by council house rents whereas the urgently-needed revaluation of the labour of ancillary hospital workers is being delayed?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I can see no particular reason why Questions Nos. 6 and 7 should be linked together. All I would comment is that the rate support grant settlement which the Government have just decided on has provided more assistance to local authorities than ever before. It has also given greater help to domestic ratepayers.