National Assistance (Rents and Rates)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1964.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton 12:00 am, 27th April 1964

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance why it is not possible to state a sum representing the part of expenditure on National Assistance which is attributable to rent and rates.

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher , Finchley

Rent is only one of several factors, including resources, in the assessment of assistance grants. In many cases the sum granted is less than the sum allowed for rent in the process of assessment.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

Is the hon. Lady aware that that answer means nothing? Does she recollect that last week the Minister announced that in about one and a half million cases the full rent was being allowed by the National Assistance Board? If we assume a ridiculously small rent of £1 a week, does not that mean that the Board at the present time is paying out at least £1½ million a week in the form of subsidies to landlords? Is this not what it boils down to? Does the hon. Lady also accept that, since 1957, the outgoing from the Board in respect of rent has vastly increased?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher , Finchley

The hon. Gentleman does not think much of the answer, but if he knew more about the subject it would mean more than it does now to him. If he had read the reports of the National Assistance Board for the last two years, he would not have needed to ask a question on the point of principle. If he refers to those reports, he will find the assessment of needs and resources very clearly set out.