§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the precise sums made available for house improvement grants by the Government for each of the last 20 years to date in (a) Scotland and (b) the Lothian region, giving separate figures for each category and year.
§ Mr. Ancram
Housing authorities are not given specific allocations for capital expenditure on house improvement grants. Since 1978–79, when the system of block capital allocations for housing was introduced, expenditure on house improvement grants has formed a major share of the non-HRA block, which also covers lending for house purchase (other than to council tenants), repairs grants, slum clearance and various minor items. 387W Individual authorities are free to determine their own spending priorities within the total non-HRA block allocations made available to them.
The following table gives total consent to incur capital expenditure on the non-HRA block for each year in (a) Scotland and (b) the districts of Lothian region. Comparable information is not available for the years prior to 1978–79.
Scotland Lothian districts £ million £ million 1978–79 50.0 13.5 1979–80 48.6 8.6 1980–81 59.4 12.3 1981–82 77.0 17.1 1982–83 106.6 21.5 1983–84* 98.1 16.3 1984–85 171.4 20.6 1985–86† 109.7 17.5 * Expenditure on improvement grants in 1983–84, subject to certain conditions, was not limited to consent. †As issued at 29 March 1985.
Note: Figures for the years to 1984–85 include abatement, enhancement and any transfers to or from the HRA block.