Housing: Local Government Finance

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 31st January 2008.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of (a) right-to-buy receipts, (b) transfer receipts and (c) other housing receipts were (i) paid to the Department and (ii) retained by local authorities in each year since 1997.

Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Minister of State (Department of Communities and Local Government) (Housing)

Under the 'set-aside' regime, which ran until 1 April 2004, with-debt local authorities were required to set aside a proportion of the capital receipt generated by the disposal of a Housing Revenue Account (HRA) asset, for repayment of housing debt. For right to buy that proportion was 75 per cent. For stock-transfer receipts the set-aside was also 75 per cent. unless the value of the housing debt exceeded 75 per cent. in which case the amount to be set aside was raised until it met the value of the debt. For other, non-dwelling sales, the proportion of set-aside was 50 per cent. The local authority was free to use the remaining 25-50 per cent. respectively for any capital purpose they chose.

The Department recorded the value of capital receipts set-aside but no differentiation was made between RTB sales, transfer receipts and other disposals of housing assets which generated a capital receipt.

The gross value of right to buy capital receipts and the gross value of transfer receipts were collected as separate exercises—though the value of set-aside resulting from these receipts cannot be separately identified.

The following table shows the gross receipts from Large Scale Voluntary Transfers (LSVT) of local authority housing from 1997-98 to date, the gross value of right to buy receipts generated by disposals in both with-debt and debt-free authorities from 1997-98, the value of capital receipts set-aside from 1997-98 to 2002-03 and the value of pooled capital receipts for 2004-05 to 2006-07.

£ million
Transfer receipts Total RTB receipts Set-aside/pooled capital receipts
1997-98 259.67 890 943
1998-99 483.94 911 1,085
1999-2000 658.67 1,374 1,477
2000-01 830.20 1,426 1,626
2001-02 377.73 1,566 1,382
2002-03 545.87 2,210 1,626
2003-04 140.83 2,936 No data
2004-05 200.40 2,575 1,694
2005-06 128.53 1,544 1,067
2006-07 91.98 1,145 843
2007-08 to date 156.86 No data No data

The Department does not collect data on the level of debt actually repaid using transfer receipts. This is a treasury management decision for the local authority. The only data collected on transfer receipts is their total value. No data on set-aside was collected for 2003-04 as a result of the transition to the pooling regime which was introduced in 2004-05. The Department does not collect data on the value of receipts retained by local authorities.

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