HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 cc770-1
3. Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now make a statement on his policy on rents after December.

The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Mr. Bruce Millan)

Details of my right hon. Friend's plans for the public sector were given in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Queen's Park (Mr. McElhone) on 25th July. As regards the private sector, my right hon. Friend proposes to extend phasing to increases in rent for all categories of tenancy following registration of fair rents.

Mr. Taylor

Does that mean that for the private-rented houses of Scotland, apart from the introduction of phasing over a three-year period, the Government intend to continue the principles of the Housing Finance Act 1972, which was so bitterly condemned by the Labour Party?

Mr. Millan

No, I do not think that it means that. What it means is that we are extending the phasing in respect of private housing, and until we have had a chance to look at the whole system of determining rents for the private housing sector, this proposal will be of considerable help to the private tenant.

Mr. McElhone

I assure the Minister that the people of Scotland more than welcome the freezing of rents until May next year. We also welcome the steps outlined in the consultative document, which will soften the harshness of the Tory Rent Act.

Mr. Millan

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, and I am sure his views are widely accepted in Scotland.