HC Deb 28 October 1999 vol 336 cc944-5W
Mr. Woodward

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received concerning the impact of his changes to the negative housing subsidy regime. [95976]

Mr. Mullin

Imet a delegation of representatives from the "Negative Subsidy" authorities on 14 September to discuss the potential impact on local authorities of our proposals to change the accounting arrangements for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

I have since written to the leader of that delegation indicating that the Government are prepared to agree in principle to provide some form of transitional measures when Rent Rebates are removed from the HRA. These will be primarily for those authorities where the transfer represents a significant proportion of their General Fund expenditure, and is long standing. The transitional measures will allow time for "Negative Subsidy" authorities to make necessary financial and procedural adjustments in preparation for the new arrangements. It is too early to say what form these transitional arrangements might take since there are many factors which may potentially affect the level of transfers before the new arrangements are implemented.