§ Mr. Favell
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total sum received by local authorities from the Exchequer in the form of rate and rent rebates and housing benefit in the year 1979–80 and the last year for which figures are available.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
The total amounts of housing benefit received by English local authorities in 1979–80 and 1985–86 (the latest year for which information is available) are as follows:
£ million 1979–80 533 1985–86 *3,755 * Provisional.
These amounts cover rent rebates, rent allowances and rate rebates and are derived from central records of payments made by DOE in respect of 1979–80 and by DHSS in respect of 1985–86.
The figures for 1979–80 and 1985–86 are not comparable. Since 1982–83, payments made to local authorities by DHSS have included amounts for rent and rate relief which would previously have been paid direct to individuals, particularly to supplementary benefit recipients.