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Housing (Interest Charges)

Volume 648: debated on Wednesday 8 November 1961

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32.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what would be the total interest charges on a house costing £1,500 built in October, 1951, with money borrowed from the Public Works Loan Board; and what would be the corresponding figure for a house built today.

If the authority concerned raised a 60-year loan at Public Works Loan Board rates, the annual charge for the October, 1951, loan would be £54 4s., compared with £106 17s. for the same loan raised today.

In view of the intolerable burden that this places on local authorities, due to the high interest rate policy of the Government, when is the right hon. Gentleman proposing to do something about it instead of attempting to compel tenants of municipal houses to carry the burden, not of the houses, but of the interest charges which must be paid back to the moneylender?

These matters were debated recently and will, no doubt, be debated again. It is not easy, in Question and Answer, to deal with matters of this kind.

That is not an answer. Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that, even judging by the figures which he has given, in a year the interest rate on these houses has doubled for every year they have to be paid for? What policy has he for dealing with this problem instead of always compelling tenants to pay more?

The hon. Gentleman knows our subsidy policy very well. He is also aware that we do not believe that artificially low interest rates for one section of the people is the right way. We believe that there should be housing subsidies, and that these should be fully debated on the Floor of the House.