§ Mr. A. BENNETT
asked the Minister of Health if he can give the cost to date to the State of the entire number of 2587W houses subsidised under the proposals of the late Government; whether all of them have now been built; if not, how many remain in an unfinished state and for what reason; and whether he can give any idea of the annual charge in respect to these houses and their rents which the State may have to shoulder throughout the entire period during which any liability continues?
Of the 176,000 houses to which the Local Authorities' and Public Utility Societies' Scheme was limited 157,235 had been completed on the 1st March, and 10,810 were in course of building. Tenders had been approved for 3,864 houses, but work had not commenced, and in the case of 4,091 houses tenders were either under consideration or had not been submitted for approval. The 39,164 houses built under the Private Builders' Subsidy Scheme were completed before August, 1922. The total cost to the Exchequer to date is £9,500,000 in capital subsidies to private builders, £10,700,000 in annual subsidies to local authorities and public utility societies. It is estimated that the annual charge on the Exchequer under the Assisted Scheme will amount to nearly £9,000,000 in the early years. It is hoped that a reduction will be secured on this charge in later years as loans are reborrowed at lower rates of interest.