§ 12. Mr. Mellish
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what has been the extra cost per week to the National Assistance Board to meet the demands made to the Board by people whose rent charges have been increased by the Rent Act.
The National Assistance Board informs me that the precise figure is not available and could 587 not be obtained without disproportionate labour. Up to 26th October, 1957, additions to weekly assistance grants in consequence of rent increases under the Rent Act would represent, in the aggregate, expenditure of rather more than £40,000 a week, but it is not known how many of the recipients of such grants have ceased to require assistance since these additions were authorised.
§ Mr. Mellish
In any case, quite apart from the difficulties of figures, is it not fairly obvious to the whole country that there are, in fact, many thousands of pounds per week being paid by the National Assistance Board for rent increases under the Rent Act, thereby making the tenants a sort of agency for the landlords to receive these rent increases, which, in the opinion of most people, is utterly scandalous? Is it not time something was done?
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
There is something to be said, if it is necessary, for helping a person of small means with his rent and for that to be undertaken by the community through taxation and not on an individual basis by his landlord.