HC Deb 28 July 1975 vol 896 cc407-8W
Mr. Raison

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment by what means, if any, he intends to impose the proposed 60p per week maximum average increase in council rents; and whether he proposes to impose a maximum increase for an individual dwelling.

Mr. Freeson

We are not imposing such a maximum average increase nor a maximum increase for individual dwellings. The Government's aim, as stated in Cmnd. 6151, is that for 1976–77 rents should not rise faster than prices generally. On present estimates this means that, on a national average, they should be about 60p a week, and we are proposing additional subsidy under Clause 5 of the Remuneration Charges and Grants Bill to help local authorities to achieve this. Variation between different local authorities and individual dwellings or estates around the country may be con- siderable, and while I have power under Section 11 of the Housing Rents and Subsidies Act 1975 to restrict increases, and would do so if a significant number of unreasonably large ones seemed likely, I would not wish to interfere generally with the freedom of local authorities to fix the rents of their dwellings.