§ Mr. Craigen
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has had from local authorities in Scotland and the Scottish Special Housing Association over reducing the 60-year re 646W payment period for new house building debt to a 40-year period; and what consideration he has given to this subject.
§ Mr. Hugh D. Brown
Local authorities are free to borrow over shorter periods than 60 years if they so wish. The Scottish Special Housing Association, whose expenditure is financed by advances from the National Loans Fund, has asked on a number of occasions for wider borrowing powers, including a reduction in the loan repayment period of 60 years for new housing. Approval has been withheld on the grounds that it is a generally accepted principle that loan repayment periods for public sector bodies borrowing from the National Loans Fund should be related to the estimated life of the capital assets concerned. Moreover, faster repayments would require either increased Government subsidy or increased rents.