HC Deb 26 July 1968 vol 769 cc247-8W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he has considered the communication from the honourable Member for West Ham, North, enclosing a circular from the Secretary of the London Labour Party to the effect that the Greater Lon- don Council have, by passing on costs of internal repairs and decorations to their tenants, exceeded the maximum rent increases permitted by his Department; what action he will take to deal with this and the other matters for which he is responsible in the circular; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Greenwood

I have considered the circular from the Secretary of the London Labour Party on the Greater London Council's revised rent scheme. I was aware of the proposed increases in lodger charges and changes in responsibility for internal decorations when, following my intervention, the Greater London Council reduced the average weekly increase in standard rents to 7s. 6d. I decided not to intervene as regards these alterations as they appeared to be one way of avoiding a further increase in standard rents.

Increased payments for services such as central heating, and for additional facilities not automatically included in the letting of a dwelling are outside the scope of the rent increase limitation powers in the Prices and Incomes Act, 1968. Since the passing of the Act I now have powers to determine by direction the amount of rent that shall be regarded as representing payment for services and I shall be making directions to cover cases where the amount payable for services is not separately specified.

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