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Housing Finance

Volume 893: debated on Friday 13 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he proposes to implement the intended £65 million reduction in housing subsidies by reducing the amount of assessed relevant expenditure for the purposes of rate support grant by an equivalent figure, so as to bring about an equivalent reduction in rate fund contributions; and how he proposes to ensure that local authori-

The number of significant accidents involving passenger trains on British Railways is listed below for each year from 1955 to 1974, together with the number of passengers killed and injured in train accidents. Significant accidents are those of a kind likely to cause casualties, but which did not necessarily do so. Figures for 1974 are provisional.ties will increase council rents to meet this reduction in RSG, rather than increasing rate calls or drawing on balances.

Of the £65 million reduction in housing subsidies £53 million relates to local authority housing in England and Wales. It is intended that the whole of this £53 million should be a reduction in forecast rate fund contributions. My right hon. Friend will be discussing how this is to be achieved, and the implications for rents in 1976–77, with the local authorities. A circular of guidance will be issued in due course.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he proposes to take any legislative or administrative steps to require alterations in the types of expenditure charged by local authorities to their housing revenue accounts, along the lines recommended by the 1969 report of the working party on housing revenue accounts.

The working party's recommendations were many and varied and some have already been adopted. However, the matter will be looked at again in the course of our present review of housing finance. If the hon. Member has any particular recommendation in mind I should be glad to write to him about it.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to publish details of the high cost element of housing subsidy under the Housing Rents and Subsidies Act 1975.

Priority is being given to the administrative arrangements for the elements of subsidy payable this year. The high costs element does not become payable until 1976–77 and I intend to publish the details later this year, after consultation with the local authority associations, in time for the preparation of local authority estimates for 1976–77.