asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what would be the cost to the Exchequer of transferring assets, and their associated debt, presently owned by the New Towns Commission and development corporations, to local authorities as suggested in the consultative document on New Towns in England and Wales, assuming they were transferred at current market prices.
The precise information requested on this complex matter is not available. Any cost to the Exchequer upon transfer of new town assets could be a function of outstanding loan debt, assumed capital value and a range of other factors including, for example, housing subsidies, rate support grant and grants under the New Towns Act 1965. If the hon. Member has any points he would like taken into account during the consideration of the basis of transfer perhaps he will let me know.