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Home Improvement And Insulation

Volume 20: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage increase in home improvement and home insulation expenditure will be possible in 1982–83 following the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget Statement; and when local authorities will receive details of their increased allocations.

On the basis of what we currently estimate local authorities will spend on home improvement grants in 1981–82, the additional £74·5 million for home improvement available for England as a result of the Chancellor's Budget Statement will make possible an increase of about 50 per cent. in expenditure on home improvement grants in 1982–83. For home insulation grants the additional £7·5 million will permit an increase of expenditure of about 30 per cent.To ensure that authorities can take early and vigorous action to expand their home improvement programmes, we intend that they should receive details of their increased allocations as rapidly as possible. To enable these allocations to be made on the basis of up-to-date information my Department wrote the day after the Budget to each local authority asking them to provide by 31 March, an estimate of the additional expenditure they now expect to incur in 1982–83 on home improvement and home insulation grants. The necessary order to increase the rates of repair and intermediate grants will be laid before the House very shortly, and will, subject to parliamentary approval, come into effect on 13 April. By about that date each local authority can expect to receive a provisional additional allocation for home improvement grants. Authorities will be able to plan firmly on the basis of the figure in the provisional allocation which will be conditional only on the necessary number of improvement grant applications being received to justify the allocation. For home insulation grants allocations will be made before the new insulation grant limits come into effect on 1 May.