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Local Authorities (Interest Rates)

Volume 655: debated on Thursday 8 March 1962

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54.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what reply he has made to the letter of 1st March from Ayr County Council regarding interest rates.

55.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposes to take to reduce the heavy financial burden upon local authorities committed to essential capital schemes.

56.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has studied the letter of protest from Ayr County Council concerning the interest rates charged on local authority borrowing; and What reply he has sent.

I am aware of the representations made by Ayr County Council. If present interest rates do cause some local authorities to defer certain projects, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, as my right hon. Friend explained last July, by restraining their expenditure, local authorities can help to relieve the overload on the economy. We do, however, keep these interest rates under constant review and local authorities do, of course, receive substantial grant aid towards most of their capital schemes.