§ 71. Mr. Hendry
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how far, on average, the actual rents of the different sizes of council houses in Scotland fall short of the corresponding notional economic rents; to what extent such shortfall is borne by local rates; and what steps he proposes to take to lessen the consequent charge on ratepayers.
§ Mr. Maclay
Averaged over all local authority houses in occupation during 1958–59, the gross annual expenditure from housing revenue accounts was £69 per house. Of this sum, Exchequer housing subsidies defrayed £23 per house, while rent receipts averaged £19 6s. The balance of £26 14s. was almost wholly met from local rates, or114W from rates together with Exchequer Equalisation Grant in areas where that grant was payable.
Local authorities are responsible by statute for fixing the rents of their houses. I have frequently made clear my view that subsidised rents are inappropriate for those who stand in no need of such assistance from public funds, but I am not in a position to take formal action save in quite exceptional circumstances.