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Volume 437: debated on Thursday 8 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Health what revision is contemplated in the basis of Annual Exchequer contributions as laid down in Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1946, in the light of the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Bill.

In considering the review of housing subsidy, all factors affecting the estimated cost of house building during the period for which subsidy is to be fixed are taken into consideration.

Is the Minister aware that if local authorities lose more by the reduction of subsidies than they gain by a reduction in the cost of sites this loss must be passed on in the form of increased rent, which is rather undesirable? Can he look very closely at this matter, as anomalies are very likely to arise?

I do not think local authorities are dissatisfied with the housing subsidy.

Is it not a fact that the cost of sites is a very small element in the cost of houses as a whole?

The Minister has misunderstood my question. My question referred to the position under the Town and Country Planning Bill, under which there will be a reduction in the cost of sites which, in turn, will affect scales of subsidies.

It is extremely difficult to say in advance what is going to be the effect of the operation of an Act of Parliament which is still a Bill. It will be soon enough to consider what the effect of that will be when we see it in operation.