I have received three letters about this increase. In reply I have explained that only the rates for last-resort loans from the Public Works Loan Board were raised.
I am much obliged. Perhaps I may add that, although in some quarters this has been dismissed as rather small help, over £90 million has been advanced in loans since November to about 290 authorities.
But is not the Chancellor aware that this added access to the Public Works Loan Board is available only to boroughs and towns which are not borrowing more than £500,000 and that the vast majority of authorities in the larger boroughs are suffering because they have had no improved access to the Board and their rates of interest are vastly increased in contradiction of the promises of the party opposite before the election?
The hon. Gentleman is anticipating Question No. 32, but, if he is impatient about a reduction in long-term interest rates, I can tell him that this Government still have four years and seven months of their life left to run.