§ Mr. McQuarrie
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements have been made for the extension of the national mobility scheme to Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Younger
A number of Scottish local authorities have decided to join the national mobility scheme. They are as follows:
- Annandale and Eskdale
- Badenoch and Strathspey
- East Lothian
- Ettrick and Lauderdale
- Kincardine and Deeside
- Kyle and Carrick
- Western Isles
The Scottish Special Housing Association arid the Scottish new towns have also decided to join.
The Secretary of State has agreed to pay an annual contribution towards the costs of the national mobility office, which runs the scheme in co-operation with the participating housing authorities. The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has co-operated with the national mobility office in providing Scottish housing authorities with the opportunity to decide whether to join the scheme.
I am sure that the facilities which the scheme offers to the tenants of participating authorities to move within the public sector throughout the United Kingdom for employment or special social reasons will be of considerable benefit. This benefit will accrue both to the individual tenants who take advantage of the scheme and to the national economy, which is assisted by the removal of barriers to the mobility of labour.
The director of the scheme will be encouraging further Scottish housing authorities to join the scheme, which enjoys almost universal support from housing authorities 87W in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I hope that those Scottish authorities which have not yet decided to join will do so in the near future.