HC Deb 05 February 1993 vol 218 cc382-3W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the structure of the means test for home improvement grants; what is the grant withdrawal rate for a couple, a couple with one child, and a couple with two children assuming receipt of community charge benefit and/or family credit; and how many such grants were awarded in each nation and region in the last complete year.

Mr. Baldry

The details of the means test for house renovation grants are set out in the Housing Renovation etc, Grants (Reduction of Grant) Regulations 1990 (SI 1990 No 1189) as amended. These regulations are summarised in the Department's circulars 12/90 and 5/91 on house renovation grants. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

The level of grant awarded depends in the financial circumstances of each applicant and the cost of the proposed works. The Department does not collect information on the grant withdrawal rates for the groups listed.

Information on renovation grants awarded is available only for England as a whole but data are available for numbers of grants paid in each English region. The figures are as follows:

Grants Awarded
England 38,141
Grants Paid
England 18,731
By Region
North 1,954
Yorkshire and Humberside 2,027
East Midlands 2,038
East Anglia 908
Greater London 1,608
South East 2,976
South West 1,828
West Midlands 2,227
North West 3,165

The renovation grant systems in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the appropriate Secretary of State.

Mr. Cann

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy that mandatory grants for house improvement should remain mandatory.

Mr. Baldry

A number of changes to the house renovation grant system are being considered for inclusion in the consultation paper announced by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Housing and Planning on 12 January at columns707–8. Nothing is being ruled out at this stage.