§ Mr. Goodlad:
The external financing limit (EFL) is set for the electricity supply industry as a whole, not for each electricity board. The electricity supply industry's EFL for 1985–86 was set at minus £1,128 million. As shown in table 5.5 of Command 9428, this470W
The primary responsibility for maintaining and improving private housing rests with the owners, though they should receive appropriate help and encouragement in fulfilling that responsibility. The Government intend to discuss with the building industry and the lending institutions ways in which more can be done to encourage owners to help themselves.
While there is still a place for public sector financial help, it needs to be better channelled towards those who could not otherwise afford to carry out essential repairs and improvements. Rateable value limits are unsatisfactory in this respect and the Government propose that they should be replaced and that eligibility should be based directly on the financial circumstances of owner-occupiers. Under the new proposals, mandatory grants would be available more widely than at present. All improvement and repair work needed to make a dwelling fit would attract a mandatory grant subject to the new eligibility test. Discretionary help would also continue but in the form of equity-linked loans, repayable on the sale of the property. New powers are envisaged for enveloping schemes and to grant-aid dwellings which are being improved for sale.
Those who are most deserving should be encouraged to apply. The Government support the development of agency services as one way of achieving this.
In most cases renovation would continue to be the answer, but where redevelopment was justified the Green Paper proposes a fairer system of compensation for those affected, and the involvement of the private sector, wherever possible, in the subsequent redevelopment.