asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much has been advanced on house renovation grants since the limit of £175 rateable value outside London was imposed; and if he will now consider raising the limit to a more realistic amount.
No separate figures are kept of the value of grants to owner-occupiers. the only category to which the rateable value limit applies. The figures are not yet available in respect of the amount of all improvement grants approved since December 1974, but the number approved—including grants for conversion—during December 1974 and January 1975 was about 10,000. All the grants advanced, and many of those approved, related to applications made before the rateable value limits came into effect.Although the figures represent a reduction in grant approvals, I believe that this results from a variety of factors, including the transition to new grant arrangements from 2nd December 1974, when the rateable value limits also came into effect. I shall continue to study the effect of the limit, but I see no reason at present to raise it.