§ Mr. Cook
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the basis of the calculation on which it appeared that £0.8 million might be needed to provide for increased demand from existing claimants of rent allowance as stated in his reply to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central on Friday 1 February.
§ Mr. Rifkind
There are currently about 19,000 claimants in Scotland and past experience has shown that 60p in any additional £1 in rent is met by rent allowances.
The latest figure for the average increase in registered rents over previous registrations is £113 of which, under the present phasing system, about £38 would be paid during the first year of the three 582W year period of registration. If phasing were abolished the balance of £75 would be payable and the overall additional demand would be in the region of £0.8 to £0.9 million. This would be reduced if a limit on rent increases was prescribed under clause 36 of the Tenants' Rights, Etc. (Scotland) Bill, but, for the reasons I have already given, there can be no precision about the figures.