My right hon. Friend received representations from the association against any further increase of rent, and replied that he understood that the new rents scheme to be introduced by the new town development corporation from 28th May, 1972, will accord with the Housing Bill at present before the House, which will ensure that no tenant will pay more rent than he can reasonably afford.
I am very disappointed by that answer. Does not the Under-Secretary realise that the tenants of these houses are already paying the highest rents in Scotland, an average rent of £4 per week for a four-apartment house, and in 1975–76 there is a possibility of these rents rising to £32 per month, which is £8 per week? I ask the Under-Secretary to look at the need for special financial consideration to be given to Irvine Development Corporation in order to allow it to get out of this unjust situation.
I certainly would not accept at their face value the figures that the hon. Gentleman has mentioned. Surely the main feature of the new scheme is that the generous rent rebate scheme, most of the cost of which will be paid by the Government, will protect tenants from any rent levels that they cannot afford to pay.