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New Clause—(Power To Increase Rent Fixed Under Housing (Rural Workers) Acts In Certain Cases)

Volume 465: debated on Monday 30 May 1949

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If, in the case of a dwelling in respect of which assistance has been given under the Housing (Rural Workers) Act, 1926, by way of grant, being a dwelling to which works (other than works in respect of which assistance has been given under that Act by way of grant, or under section nineteen of this Act) have been executed at a time when conditions contained in the Housing (Rural Workers) Acts, 1926 to 1942, apply in relation to the dwelling, an application in that behalf is made to the local authority by whom the grant was made, they may direct that the maximum amount of the rent payable by the occupier in respect of the dwelling shall be increased by such amount as may be specified in the direction, not exceeding an amount calculated at a rate per annum of eight per cent. of the cost of executing the works; and where such a direction is given—

  • (a) the reference in that one of the following provisions which is applicable to the dwelling, namely, paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section three of the Housing (Rural Workers) Act, 1926, and section six of the Housing (Rural Workers) Amendment Act, 1938, to the amount which the rent payable by the occupier in respect of the dwelling is not to exceed shall, as respects any period after the giving of the direction and before the direction is superseded by a further direction under this section, be construed in relation to the dwelling as a reference to that amount as increased under this section; and
  • (b) it shall be the duty of the proper officer of the local authority to record particulars of the direction in the register of local land charges.—[Mr. Blenkinsop.]
  • Brought up, and read the First time.

    I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

    This new Clause is to deal with an exactly parallel case to the last but where the initial grant has been made under the Housing (Rural Workers) Acts and where the owner undertakes further work. Here again, provisions are made to enable the owner, subject to the approval of the local authorities, to raise the rent up to 8 per cent. of his expenses.

    Again we welcome this new Clause. Of course, the Minister's contention on the previous Clause that it would be most unjust that two categories of owners should not be placed in an identical position, was in fact one of the arguments we brought forward on more than one occasion with singularly little success. It is a good thing that "while the light holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return." As long as this little candle of equality which the Minister owns may be kept alight, there is no saying to what distance it may throw its beams. Today the Minister has lighted a candle which may not readily be put out, and we welcome this new Clause very sincerely.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.