The Transition Subsidy, and Associatedrate Fund Contribution

New Clause No. 6 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th April 1972.

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Photo of Mr John Fraser Mr John Fraser , Lambeth Norwood 12:00 am, 24th April 1972

I beg to move Amendment No. 3, in page 4, line 16, leave out paragraph (b).

The purpose of the Amendment and of the Amendments associated with it—Nos. 4, 6, 10, 11 and 12—is to deal with three subsidies: rising cost subsidy, transition subsidy and rent rebate subsidy. All three have this in common that they will be so reduced by the Government that the Government's share in the first year will be 90 per cent., in the second year, 85 per cent., in the third year 80 per cent., and in the fourth year 75 per cent. Our purpose may not seem absolutely clear, but that is because, due to the Money Resolution, we have not been able to table an Amendment saying that the subsidy ought to be borne 100 per cent. by the Government. That, however, is our purpose.

Our first reason for tabling the Amendments is that the prime and central responsibility for relieving poverty—and that is what the rent rebate subsidy is all about; low income and the ability of ordinary families to have accommodation—rests with central Government. That is what every General Electionis fought about. But what we have in the Bill is premeditated reduction of subsidies by the Government to 90 per cent. in the first year reducing to 75 per cent. after four years. Eventually, the Government take the power to reduce their share to as little as 60 per cent.

So the Government make a premeditated withdrawal from the war on bad and inadequate housing and premeditated withdrawal from the battle against poverty. It is a withdrawal from the war which most Governments are expected to wage with every weapon at their command. We have here a reduction in subsidy which is precisely calculated by mathematical percentages. During the last election the Prime Minister and others spoke eloquently about the need to relieve poverty, but when we see a Bill which deals with an aspect of poverty we see a shrugging of that responsibility by mathematically worked-out timetable.

Our second reason for objecting to the withdrawal provision and for saying that the subsidy must remain at 100 per cent. is that the Bill was devised to reduce subsidies on housing by £200 million in the first five years and by £300 million within ten years. The White Paper expressly says so.

Our third reason is the need to expose the hypocrisy and deceit of that paragraph in the White Paper which talks about the financial independence of local authorities, and says that the Government cannot subsidise to the extent of 100 per cent. as that would undermine local authorities'financial independence. That is utter cant and hypocrisy. Under the Bill, local authorities have no control over their level of rents and precious little control over the level of rebates. Rent and rebate levels are dictated. We therefore say that since the local authorities are to have no independence at all in this respect the subsidy must run at 100 per cent.

Finally, we say that if the subsidies are withdrawn as shown in the Bill, a heavier and heavier burden will fall on the ratepayers. It is the responsibility of the Government and not of the ratepayers, who are already extremely hard pressed, to provide adequate housing and relieve poverty. I believe that the Amendment will have the support of the local authority associations. I am sure that when the effect of the withdrawal of the subsidies is realised by the ratepayers it will have the support of them all. And I believe that it will have the support of the House as well.

Photo of Mr Julian Amery Mr Julian Amery , Brighton, Pavilion

I have hardly been left time to develop what might be called a powerful argument in reply to the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser).

It is a fundamental principle of the Bill that subsidies are for people. In my view and that of my right hon. and hon. Friends a subsidy system should not be judged by the amount of subsidy going to a particular local authority. What matters is whether the subsidy meets the need of individuals. If an authority can balance its accounts by charging fall

Division No. 143.]AYES[7.0 p.m.
Abse, LeoDell, Rt. Hn. EdmundJay, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Albu, AustenDempsey, JamesJenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)Doig, PeterJenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)Dormand, J. D.John, Brynmor
Armstrong, ErnestDouglas, Dick (Stirlingshire. E.)Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)
Ashley, JackDouglas-Mann, BruceJohnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)
Ashton, JoeDuffy, A. E. P.Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Atkinson, NormanDunnett, JackJones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)
Bagler, Gordon A. TEadie, AlexJones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)
Barnes, MichaelEdelman, MauriceKaufman, Gerald
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)Edwards Robert (Bilston)Kelley, Richard
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)Edwards, William (Merioneth)Kerr, Russell
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony WedgewoodEllis, TomKinnock, Nell
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)English, MichaelLambton, Antony
Bidwell, SydneyEvans, FredLatham, Arthur
Bishop, E. S.Ewing, HenryLeadbitter, Ted
Blenkinsop, ArthurFisher,Mrs. Doris(B'ham,Ladywood)Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Boardman, H. (Leigh)Fitch, Alan (Wigan)Leonard, Dick
Booth, AlbertFletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)Lestor, Miss Joan
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. ArthurFletcher, Ted (Darlington)Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold
Bradley, TomFoley, MauriceLewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)
Broughton, Sir AlfredFoot, MichaelLewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)Ford, BenLipton, Marcus
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)Forrester, JohnLomas, Kenneth
Buchan, NormanFraser, John (Norwood)Loughlin, Charles
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)Galpern, Sir MyerLyon, Alexander W. (York)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Garrett, W. E.Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. JamesGilbert, Dr. JohnMcBride, Neil
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)McCartney, Hugh
Cant, R. B.Golding, JohnMcElhone, Frank
Carmichael, NeilGordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.McGuire, Michael
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)Gourlay, HarryMackenzie, Gregor
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)Grant, George (Morpeth)Mackie, John
Castle, Rt. Hn. BarbaraGrant, John D. (Islington, E.)Mackintosh, John P.
Clark, David (Colne Valley)Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)Hamilton, James (Bothwell)McNamara, J. Kevin
Cohen, StanleyHamilton, William (Fife, W.)Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Concannon, J. DHannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)Marks, Kenneth
Conlan, BernardHardy, PeterMarquand, David
Corbet, Mrs. FredaHarrison, Walter (Wakefield)Marsden, F.
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)Hart, Rt. Hn. JudithMarshall, Dr. Edmund
Cronin, JohnHattersley, RoyMason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Crosland, Rt. Hn. AnthonyHealey, Rt. Hn. DenisMayhew, Christopher
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)Hooson, EmlynMeacher, Michael
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)Horam, JohnMellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Dalyell, TamHoughton, Rt. Hn. DouglasMendelson, John
Davidson, ArthurHowell, Denis (Small Heath)Mikardo, Ian
Davies, Denzill (Llanelly)Huckfield, LeslieMillan, Bruce
Davies, Ifor (Gower)Hughes, Mark (Durham)Miller, Dr. M. S.
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)Milne, Edward
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)Hughes, Roy (Newport)Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)
Deakins, EricHunter, AdamMolloy, William
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir GeoffreyIrvine,Rt.Hn.SirArthur(Edge Hill)Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Delargy, H. J.Janner, GrevilleMorris, Charles R. (Openshaw)

rents to those tenants who can afford them—and by granting rebates to those who cannot—it does not need a subsidy. In that situation all legitimate needs are met without a subsidy. Subsidies are justified only where they are needed to balance the books.

It being Seven o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker proceeded, pursuant to the Standing Order No. 43 (Business Committee) and the Orders [13th March and this day], to put forthwith theQuestion already proposed from the Chair.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 242, Noes 269.

Morris, Rt Hn. John (Aberavon)Rhodes, GeoffreySwain, Thomas
Moyle, RolandRoberts, Albert (Normanton)Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Mulley, Rt. Hn. FrederickRobertson, John (Paisley)Thompson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Murray, Ronald KingRoderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n&R'dnor)Tinn, James
Oakes, GordonRoper, JohnTomney, Frank
Ogden, EricRose, Paul B.Torney, Tom
O'Halloran, MichaelRoss, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)Tuck, Raphael
O'Malley, BrianRowlands, EdwardUrwin, T. W.
Oram, BertSandelson, NevilleVarley, Eric G.
Orbach, MauriceSheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)Wainwright, Edwin
Orme, StanleyShore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Oswald, ThomasShort, Rt. Kn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)Wallace, George
Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)Watkins, David
Padley, WalterSilkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)Weitzman, David
Paget, R. T.Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)Wellbeloved, James
Palmer, ArthurSillars, JamesWells, William (Walsall, N.)
Pannell, Rt. Hn. CharlesSilverman, JuliusWhite, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Pardoe, JohnSkinner, DennisWhitehead, Phillip
Parry, Robert (Liverpool, ExchangeSmall, WilliamWhitlock, William
Pavitt, LaurieSmith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Pendry, TomSpearing, NigelWilliams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Pentland, NormanSpriggs, LeslieWilliams, W. T. (Warrington)
Perry, Ernest G.Stallard, A. W.Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Prescott, JohnSteel, DavidWilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)Stoddart, David (Swindon)Woof, Robert
Price, William (Rugby)Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. JohnTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Rankin, JohnStrauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.Mr. James A. Dunn and
Reed, D. (Sedgefield)Summerskill Hn Dr shirley Mr. Joseph Harper.
Adley, Robertd'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryHawkins, Paul
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)d'Avigdor-Goldsmid. Maj.-Gen. JamesHay, John
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)Dean, PaulHayhoe, Barney
Amery, Rt. Hn. JulianDeedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.Heseltine, Michael
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)Digby, Simon WingfieldHicks, Robert
Astor, JohnDixon, PiersHiggins, Terence L.
Atkins, HumphreyDouglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir AlecHiley, Joseph
Awdry, DanielDrayson, G. B.Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)du Cann, Rt. Hn. EdwardHill, James (Southampton, Test)
Balniel, Rt. Hn. LordDykes, HughHolland, Philip
Batsford, BrianEden, Sir JohnHolt, Miss Mary
Beamish, Col. Sir TuftonEdwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)Hordern, Peter
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Hornby, Richard
Benyon, W.Elliott, R. W. (Nc'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)Hornsby-Smith. Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia
Berry, Hn. AnthonyEmery, PeterHowe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)
Biffen, JohnEyre, ReginaldHowell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)
Biggs-Davison, JohnFarr, JohnHunt, John
Blaker, PeterFell, AnthonyIremonger, T. L.
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)Fenner, Mrs. PeggyIrvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Body, RichardFinsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)James, David
Boscawen, RobertFisher, Nigel (Surbiton)Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Bossom, Sir CliveFletcher-Cooke, Charles
Bowden, AndrewFookes, Miss JanetJennings, J. C. (Burton)
Bray, RonaldFortescue, TimJessel, Toby
Brinton, Sir TattonFowler, NormanJohnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Brocklebank-Fowler, ChristopherFox, MarcusJones, Arthur (Northants, S.)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)Fry, PeterJopling, Michael
Bruce-Gardyne, J.Galbraith, Hn. T. G.Kaberry, Sir Donald
Bryan, PaulGardner, EdwardKellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M)Gibson-Watt, DavidKershaw, Anthony
Buck, AntonyGilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)Kimball, Marcus
Bullus, Sir EricGilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Burden, F. A.Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth)Goodhart, PhilipKinsey, J. R.
Campbell, Rt. Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn)Goodhew, VictorKnight, Mrs. Jill
Carlisle, MarkGower, RaymondKnox, David
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)Lane, David
Cary, Sir RobertGray, HamishLangford-Holt, Sir John
Chapman, SydneyGreen, AlanLegge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Chataway, Rt. Hn. ChristopherGrieve, PercyLe Merchant, Spencer
Chichester-Clark, R.Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Churchill, W. S.Grylls, MichaelLongden, Sir Gilbert
Clark, William (Surrey, E.)Gummer, J. SelwynLoveridge, John
Clegg, WalterGurden, HaroldLuce, R. N.
Cooke, RobertHall, Miss Joan (Keighley)McAdden, Sir Stephen
Coombs, DerekHall, John (Wycombe)MacArthur, Ian
Cooper, A. E.Hall-Davis, A. G. F.McCrindle, R. A.
Corlield, Rt. Hn. FrederickHamilton, Michael (Salisbury)McLaren, Martin
Cormack, PatrickHannam, John (Exeter)Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Costain, A. P.Harrison, Brian (Maldon)Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham)
Critchley, JulianHarrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)McNair-Wilson, Michael
Crouch, DavidHaselhurst, AlanMcNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Crowder, F. P.Hastings, StephenMaddan, Martin
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)Havers, MichaelMadel, David
Marten, NeilQuennell, Miss J. M.Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Mather, CarolRaison, TimothyTaylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Maude, AngusRamsden, Rt. Hn. JamesTebbit, Norman
Maudling, Rt. Hn. ReginaldRawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir PeterTemple, John M.
Mawby, RayRedmond, RobertThatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Meyer, Sir AnthonyRees, Peter (Dover)Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Mills, Peter (Torrington)Rees-Davies, W. R.Tilney, John
Miscampbell, NormanRenton, Rt. Hn. Sir DavidTrafford, Dr. Anthony
Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W)Rhys Williams, Sir BrandonTrew, Peter
Moate, RogerRidley, Hn. NicholasTugendhat, Christopher
Money, ErnleRidsdale, JulianTurton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Monks, Mrs. ConnieRoberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)van Straubenzee, W. R.
Monro, HectorRoberts, Wyn (Conway)Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Montgomery, FergusRost, PeterVickers, Dame Joan
More, JasperRussell, Sir RonaldWaddington, David
Morgan-Giles, Rear-AdmSt. John-Stevas, NormanWalder, David (Clitheroe)
Morrison, CharlesSandys, Rt. Hn. D.Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Mudd, DavidScott, NicholasWalker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Murton, OscarSharples, RichardWalters, Dennis
Nabarro, Sir GeraldShaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitbv)Ward, Dame Irene
Neave, AireyShelton, William (Clapham)Warren, Kenneth
Normanton, TomSinclair, Sir GeorgeWeatherill, Bernard
Onslow, CranleySkeet, T. H. H.Wells, John (Maidstone)
Oppenheim, Mrs. SallySmith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)White, Roger (Gravesend)
Osborn, JohnSoref, HaroldWiggin, Jerry
Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)Speed, KeithWilkinson, John
Page, Graham (Crosby)Spence, JohnWinterton, Nicholas
Page, John (Harrow, W.)Sproat, IainWood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Parkinson, CecilStainton KeithWoodnutt, Mark
Percival, IanStanbrook, IvorWorsley, Marcus
Pike, Miss MervynStewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Pink, R. BonnerStodart, Anthony (Edinburgh. W.)Younger, Hn. George
Powell, Rt. Hn. J. EnochStoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Price, David (Eastleigh)Stokes, JohnTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.Stuttaford, Dr. TomMr. John Stradling Thomas and
Proudfoot, WilfredTapsell, PeterMr. Kenneth Clark.
Pym, Rt. Hn. FrancisTaylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after Seven o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker proceeded, pursuant to Standing Order No. 43 (Business Committee) and the Orders [13th March and this day] to put forthwith the Questions on Amendments, moved by a Member of the Government, of which notice liad been given, to that part of the Bill to be concluded at Seven o'clock.