I assume that the hon. Gentleman is referring to improvement grants under the Housing (Scotland) Acts. The Housing (Financial Provisions) (Scotland) Bill removes restriction on giving improvement grants where a grant under other legislation, including Section 77 of the 1948 Act, has been repaid or any conditions attaching to such a grant have ceased to apply.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I have a number of cases before me at present where applicants have received a housing grant for a minor improvement, and when the family has indicated a need for essential additions such as a bedroom or bathroom it is precluded from assistance because of the provisions of the Act? Does the Minister not realise that some of these people will be obliged to apply for local authority houses, which in these days cost about £7,000?
I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's problem, but on the whole it is surely reasonable that if assistance in the way of improvements of one kind or another has already been given from public funds, and if the conditions attaching to that assistance are still current, then assistance of another kind should be dependent on the earlier grant being repaid.