§ Mr. Sweeney
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he will consult on his housing revenue account subsidy proposals for 1995–96; and what his proposals will be.
§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
The Welsh Office has issued draft housing revenue account subsidy determinations for 1995–96 today. Local authorities and other consultees have been invited to let us have their views by 22 December 1994. I will be placing copies of the draft determinations together with estimates of guideline rents and management and maintenance allowances in the Library of the House. The proposed average guideline rent for 1995–96 is £33.58 a week. Increases range between £1.82 and £2.82 a week according to the estimated capital values of each authority's stock.
The proposed average management and maintenance allowance per dwelling would increase by 3.75 per cent to £854, an increase of £31. Across Wales the total estimated 743W management and maintenance allowances would increase to nearly £177 million. Thirty-two councils would have a higher allowance than in 1994–95 while no authority will have a lower per dwelling allowance than this year.
These proposals strike a reasonable balance between the need to contain public expenditure and the need to ensure that housing is provided for council tenants at acceptable cost. The overall percentage increase in guideline rents is lower than in 1994–95.
Local authorities determine their own expenditure and set their own rents, but I hope that they will follow the Government's lead in adopting a balanced approach.