§ Mr. Field
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authorities have sought his permission under the Local Government Finance Act to reimburse tenants for losses caused by the interaction of rent-free weeks and the partial start of the housing benefit scheme; and how many have been granted.
§ Sir George Young
In relation to the housing benefit scheme, one local authority has sought the agreement of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment to sanction expenditure under section 161(1) of the Local Government Act 1972, and approval has not been granted.