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Mineworkers And Steelworkers (Home Improvement Loans)

Volume 951: debated on Friday 9 June 1978

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what rate of interest is being charged to mineworkers and steelworkers on loans for the improvement of their houses with money provided by the European Commission; whether and to what extent the recipients will be chargeable with a taxable benefit; and whether identical treatment is available for employees of companies in the private sector.

The European Coal and Steel Community operates a scheme to provide loans to mineworkers and steelworkers for the improvement of their houses at a rate of interest of 1 per cent. At present the share of resources set aside for United Kingdom mineworkers is used exclusively for National Coal Board housing and the benefits of the low interest rate are entirely passed on to the tenants through the rents being lower than would otherwise be so. It is unlikely that tax liability will arise in other than an exceptional case. Loans on similar terms are available to employees of steel companies in the private sector.