asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether the Chancellor's Budget Statement in respect of an enhanced rate of grant for discretionary home improvement grants is the subject of a cash limit; if so, what is the total figure to be made available for this purpose to local authorities; what is the basis of the allocation between local authorities; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will state the total amount and itemise the additional allocation of funds that are to be made available to the Caradon, Restormel and North Cornwall district councils for discretionary home improvement grants at the enhanced rate following the Chancellor's Budget Statement.
Of the £100 million announced by the Chancellor, £83 million will be available for local authorities in England. £74·5 million of this total will be for intermediate and repair grants and home improvement grants, and £8·25 million for homes insulation grants. The entire £83 million will be added to the cash limit—DOE/LAI—for local authority capital expenditure. As I explained in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, North (Mr. Durant) 16 March—[Vol. 20, c. 87]—authorities have already been invited to bid for a share of those extra resources. The three authorities to which my hon. Friend refers have already submitted their bids. We aim to inform authorities of their provisional additional allocations for improvement grants by mid-April. Provisional allocations will be made after considering the bids submitted by authorities, and they will be subject to confirmation when it is clear that the number of applications received by each authority is sufficient to ensure that its allocation will be used.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether applications for discretionary home improvement grants that were approved by district councils before the Chancellor's Budget Statement, but for which work had not started, will be eligible for the enhanced rate of grant of 90 per cent.; and if he will make a statement.
There are four types of home improvement grant; intermediate grants, repair grants, special grants and improvement grants. An order laid before the House on 22 March will, subject to approval, increase the appropriate percentage for intermediate and repair grants to 90 per cent. from 13 April. Where an intermediate or repair grant was approved before that date but work has not yet started applicants will be able to reapply to benefit from the higher rate. In the case of special and improvement grants no changes in the grant rates are proposed.