§ Mr. Beith
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will take steps to enable local authorities to borrow on shorter loans for council house building.
§ Mr. Freeson
This is among the matters covered by my right hon. Friend's current comprehensive review of housing finance. It is largely a question of whether lighter burdens in the longer term are likely to be worth the heavier burdens in the shorter term.
§ Mr. Sims
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total figure of loans for the purchase of private housing made by local authorities in the financial year 1974–75; what is the total amount planned to be lent during the current financial year; and what was the sum actually lent in the current financial year to the most recent convenient date for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Armstrong
It is estimated that local authorities in England advanced a898W total of £545 million to private individuals for house purchase during 1974–75. In order to allow for increased expenditure in other housing programmes, local authorities were restricted in the current financial year to a maximum quota of 50 per cent. of their level of lending for 1974–75. At the time this restriction was announced, some 200 local authorities had already exceeded their quotas by way of sums advanced and committed, with the result that sums advanced during 1975–76 had reached the level of £385 million by the end of October.