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Clause 5. — (Termination of Local Authorities' Obligation to Make Certain Contributions, and Power to Carry Other Sums to Credit of Housing Revenue Accounts.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Housing and Town Development (Scotland) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd June 1957.

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Photo of Mr Jack Browne Mr Jack Browne , Glasgow Craigton 12:00 am, 3rd June 1957

According to the information in our possession, the Dumfries County Council proposes to make a rate contribution which is likely to be more than the notional statutory rate contribution, that is, more than the amount fixed by the present law. The hon. Member for Hamilton appears to dissent, but I have had the opportunity of checking that information again. It is not, of course, my right hon. Friend's responsibility and the information may be incorrect.

I have studied the Amendment with great sympathy. The main issue that faced us in Committee was the question whether or not there should be a statutory rate contribution. Hon. Members have done their best, but I cannot see the merit of the Amendment. The average Exchequer contribution in Scotland is £20·13 per house, and the average rate contribution is not just over £6, as it ought to be, but £21·58 which is higher than the average Exchequer contribution. Therefore, it is surely up to any Government to face the fact that local authorities, in fixing rents, long ago threw overboard the classical conception of the kind of payment to be made from the rates to the housing account. Each local authority has made its own decision about the correct division to be made of the burden to be borne in the housing account between rents and rates.