§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the proportion of total Government spending on housing which benefits (a) households with below average earnings, and (b) households where combined incomes are less than average earnings.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
Capital expenditure on housing from public funds cannot be apportioined according to the incomes of those who benefit. The benefits extend beyond those who live in new or improved houses provided by local authorities, new towns, or housing associations, for a new house may make possible a sequence of moves that are to the advantage of all those who move.
The distribution of housing subsidies (including rate fund contributions) according to the income of households 435W can be estimated. The measure of income used was the income of the household head and wife (the household head's income only in households where there is no wife or the wife has no income).
In 1974–75, 1975–76, and 1976–77 (the years for which the estimates were made), about 60 per cent. of local authority and new town housing subsidies (excluding rebates) went to households with incomes of husband and wife that were less than average earnings; if rent rebates are included, the proportion was about 70 per cent. I regret that estimates for more recent years, and estimates that use other measures of income, are not available.