Housing Revenue Accounts

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 30th April 2007.

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Photo of Anne Snelgrove Anne Snelgrove PPS (Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State), Department of Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much on average local authorities in England paid back to the Exchequer from their housing revenue account in each year since 1990.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Minister of State (Department of Communities and Local Government) (Housing and Planning)

Figures for the period 1990-91 to 1993-94 can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Details of net negative/positive housing revenue account subsidy amounts for England for the period 1994-95 to 2005-06 (the last year for which audited figures are available) have been given in the following table. In 2001, the Major Repairs Allowance was introduced to increase the resources available to local authorities to improve their housing. The figures given in the table show the housing element of HRA subsidy for 1994-95 to 2003-04 inclusive and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) subsidy for 2004-05 and 2005-06. The Local Government Act 2003 changed the way HRA Subsidy is accounted for and the figures are presented in line with current accounting practice. HRA Subsidy for 2004-05 (to date) is the precise equivalent of the housing element in prior years.

Financial year Amounts distributed to authorities in deficit Amounts contributed by authorities in surplus( 1) Net expenditure by Exchequer( 2)
1994-95 803,583,639 -892,150,955 -88,567,316
1995-96 690,585,862 -1,077,515,215 -390,050,431
1996-97 660,265,906 -1,223,294,361 -563,028,455
1997-98 606,715,419 -1,260,563,048 -668,307,497
1998-99 538,962,811 -1,408,955,122 -869,992,311
1999-2000 484,765,377 -1,525,634,407 -1,040,869,030
2000-01 441,660,519 -1,557,991,956 -1,116,331,437
2001-02 967,053,381 -615,948,372 (3)351,105,009
2002-03 906,718,472 -654,659,330 252,059,142
2003-04 902,327,958 -711,409,278 191,153,240
2004-05 694,206,087 -615,328,703 78,877,384
2005-06 777,572,397 -548,013,415 229,558,982
(1 )Prior to 31 March 2004 no surpluses (shown as negative figures) were returned to the Exchequer. HRA Subsidy was paid as a net amount after an offset was made between the housing and rent rebate elements. These amounts were not available to authorities for expenditure on their housing stock as they represent a saving to the Exchequer.

(2 )Remaining surpluses after the offset (shown as negative figures) remained with the individual local authority and were transferred to their General Fund and lost to housing. This practice ended on 1 April 2004 and the resources are retained within the subsidy regime.

(3 )The introduction of the Major Repairs Allowance on 1 April 2001 reduced surpluses by £1.5 billion and put the national system into overall deficit with the Exchequer making up the difference.

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