HC Deb 26 July 1974 vol 877 cc584-5W
Mr. Jessel

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate, nationally and for the Twickenham constituency, of the total number of households, the number of private tenancies, and the number of tenants eligible for rent allowances, and the take-up figure for these allowances.

Mr. Kaufman

There are an estimated 17.2 million households in England and Wales, of which about 2.5 million and 0.8 million, respectively, are private tenants in unfurnished and furnished accommodation. These numbers include tenants who are not covered by the rent allowance scheme; for example, those who occupy their accommodation under a contract of service. Apart from those receiving supplementary benefits, about 100,000 unfurnished and 8,000 furnished tenants were receiving rent allowances in December 1973. It is estimated that 500,000 to 600,000 tenants in the unfurnished sector are eligible for allowances but no estimate is available for the furnished sector.

The hon. Member is advised to contact the local authority for information concerning the Twickenham constituency.

Mr. Jessel

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he has taken and what action he intends to take, nationally and in the Twickenham constituency, to publicise and encourage the take-up of rent allowances by private tenants who are entitled to receive them.

Mr. Kaufman

Press and television advertising by the Government for the rent allowance scheme has been extensive, both nationally and regionally. Local authorities will be invited to participate

£ million
1970–71 1971–72 1972–73 1973–74 1974–75 estimate
Grants to the British Railways Board
Grants to unremunerative rail passenger services 60.5 65.2 66.3 81.7 112.7
Surplus track grant 12.0 7.5 8.5 1.8 1.6
Research and development 1.1 1.6 1.4 1.8 2.4
Special compensation for price restraint 27.0
Grant for improvements to automatic level crossings 0.7 0.1
Repayment of SET and payment of REP 31.1 20.2 14.8 0.6 0.3
Special grant to cover cashflow shortfall 42.0 95.0 190.2
Grants to the British Waterways Board
Grant in aid 1.9 2.9 3.1 3.8 4.3
Grant towards expenditure on bridges 1.2 0.7 1.2 1.3 1.3
Grants to the National Bus Company
Grants in respect of rail replacement bus services 0.3 0.1
Special compensation for price restraint 7.0
Grants to the National Freight Corporation
Freight sundries grant 12.4 8.0 3.7 1.6
Other grants to public transport
New bus grant 5.8 10.7 20.0 24.3 22.7
Bus fuel grant 21.1 21.3 21.0 20.1 21.6
Rural bus and ferry grant 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.7
Infrastructure grant 4.7 5.2 24.7 34.3 48.7