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Housing Costs

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide the total number of Scottish local authority tenants in receipt of assistance with housing costs, by region and for Scotland as a whole, in the years from 1981 to 1986 inclusive.

I have been asked to reply.The information readily available is confined to rent and rate rebates and does not include help with rent and rates provided through supplementary benefit prior to the introduction of housing benefit in 1982–83. On this basis the information for Scotland as a whole is given in table 1. I regret that a breakdown into regions is not available for all the years requested, but the information that is available is given in table 2.

Table 1
Local authority tenants Scotland receiving rent and rate rebates
YearRent rebate (thousands)Rate rebate (thousands)
1980–81237305
1981–82284342
1982–83457535
1983–84565(note 4)
1984–85573611
1985–86577580
1986–87598603

Notes:

1. Figures for 1980–81 are derived from Scottish Office statistics for the former rebate and allowance scheme.

2. Figures for 1983–84 onwards are based on local authority claims for housing benefit subsidy.

3. The 1982–83 figures include rent and rate rebates paid to certain tenants included in the partial start of the housing benefit scheme in November 1982.

4. It has not been possible to isolate the number of local authority tenants receiving rate rebates in 1983–84, though the subsidy returns indicate a total figure in excess of 580,000.

answer to the question tabled by the hon. Member for Newbury for answer on 17 November relating to industrial noise.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the current permitted noise limits for industrial premises; whether there are any plans to reduce them; and what EEC regulations cover industrial noise.

At present specific legal limits on noise exposure apply in only a few sectors of industry. For industry generally an advisory code of practice published by the Health and Safety Executive recommends what action should he taken when daily personal noise exposure exceeds 90dB(A) or the peak sound pressure exceeds 600 Pascals.The Health and Safety Commission published proposals for new legislation on 15 December which would require certain action at a daily personal noise exposure of 85dB(A), and additional protective measures at 90dB(A) or a peak sound pressure of 200 Pascals. The proposals would enable the United Kingdom to comply with EC directive 86/188/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to noise at work. Other EC directives are concerned with noise at the operator's position on certain items of new industrial machinery.