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Housing Subsidy

Volume 13: debated on Thursday 19 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total amount of housing subisdy for English local authorities for the financial year 1980–81 and, in comparable prices, the amount for the financial year 1981–82; and if he will state the amounts for each local housing authority in England for each of those financial years.

[pursuant to his answer, 9 November 1981]: In 1980–81 local authorities in England received £1,400.6 million in Exchequer subsidy for local authority dwellings at outturn prices, or approximately £1,554·7 million in 1981–82 prices. In addition they received £349·9 million from the Exchequer in rent rebate subsidy at outturn prices, or approximately £388·4 million in 1981–82 prices. Further support for local authority tenants came from rate fund contributions to housing revenue accounts of £441·2 million and to rent rebates of £123 million at outturn prices or approximately £489–7 million and £136·5 million at 1981–82 prices.The provisional figures for 1981–82 are based on local authorities first estimates of subsidy entitlement. These indicate an entitlement to Exchequer subsidy for local authority dwellings of approximately £873·4 million. Rent rebates paid to recipients of supplementary benefit and supplementary pensions are now funded through DHSS programmes. There are therefore no directly comparable figures for 1981–82 for Exchequer subsidy to rent rebates. But the substantial increase in Exchequer support for rent rebates is indicated by the local authorities claims for Exchequer contribution for direct rebates which increased from £178·7 million in 1980–81 to £360·3 million in 1981–82 at 1981–82 prices. Expenditure on indirect rebates—now funded by DHSS—which in 1980–81 was slightly higher than the expenditure on direct rebates is likely to increase by a similar proportion. Local authorities estimates indicate that the 1981–82 rate fund contributions to housing revenue accounts will be approximately £428·5 million and to direct rebates £47 million.The figures for individual authorities for 1980–81 have been placed in the Library. The first estimates for 1981–82 outturn are unreliable at individual authority level and to check the figures for all 367 local housing authorities could be done only at disproportionate cost.