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Crofter Housing

Volume 982: debated on Wednesday 2 April 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now raise the level of grant and loan for crofter housing.

I have nothing to add to my reply to the right hon. Member on 8 November.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that is a disappointing reply in view of the increase in costs since the sum was previously raised? Is he also aware that his noble Friend the Minister of State has turned down two applications from constituents of mine on the grounds that they are unmarried? Will he inform his noble Friend that it is no part of his business to act as a marriage guidance counsellor for the Western Isles, and will he ensure that those applications are approved forthwith?

I am always anxious to be as helpful as I can to crofters. I would have thought that the present scheme is very helpful, as the interest rate on any loans is 31½ per cent. That will open the eyes of house buyers in other places. A crofter who is building a new house can get a grant of £4,000 and a loan of up to £5,500 at the lower rate of interest. I should have thought that that was pretty generous help.