§ 14. Mr. Manuel
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will seek to amend the Prices and Incomes Act, 1968, so as to bring the rents of new local authority houses within the control provisions of the Act.
§ Dr. Mabon
For its duration the Prices and Incomes Act empowers my right hon. Friend to limit increases in rents of existing houses. The fixing of rents for new local authority houses, which raises different issues, must remain the sole responsibility of these authorities, but I expect them to exercise moderation in present circumstances.
§ Mr. Manuel
Will my hon. Friend not recognise how grossly unfair it is that 386 tenants of new local authority houses now coming into occupation, where rents are fixed much higher than for older houses, have no protection under the Prices and Incomes Act, whereas tenants of older houses have such protection. What is he prepared to do about it?
§ Dr. Mabon
My hon. Friend may recall that Section 10 deals not with the control of rents but with the control of increases. Our efforts to get adequate rent rebate schemes are beginning to show fruit, and I hope that hon. Members on both sides will help us in persuading local authorities to adopt rebate schemes.
Earl of Dalkeith
Will the Minister agree that, since in 1967 rents in England averaged about 35s. 8d. as compared with 18s. 4d. in Scotland, the Scottish ratepayer is bearing a disproportionately high burden of local authority expenditure?