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Yvette Cooper: Local authorities do not borrow for specific purposes but instead manage their loans as a portfolio. The Housing Revenue Account makes a contribution to the loan charges of a local authority's debt portfolio based upon the proportion of those loans used for housing purposes and based on the average interest rate of all of the authority's borrowing, known as the Consolidated Rate of Interest (CRI).
The CRI for 1980 is only available at disproportionate cost. The average CRI for local housing authorities in England for financial year 200001 was 5.95 per cent., the average CRI for local housing authorities in England for financial year 200506 currently stands at 5.31 per cent., though it should be noted that this rate is likely to change as the financial year not yet ended.
Yvette Cooper: The net contribution made by central government to local authority housing revenue accounts in England is approximately £207.6 million for 200506, based upon unaudited advance claims submitted by local housing authorities.
The estimate for 200708 is expected to be broadly similar and it is expected that payments to deficit authorities will continue to exceed surpluses redistributed from negative subsidy authorities throughout this period.
Yvette Cooper: The charges for capital element of Housing Revenue Account Subsidy entitlement by local housing authorities for 199798 to 200405 (the latest year for which we have data) was as follows:
Under the set-aside system that was in place until 200405, local authorities were required to set aside a proportion of their income to repay debt. So levels of housing debt (nationally) fell, leading to a fall in support required for support of that debt.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what account he took of average house prices in Dorset in allocating funds to assist key workers via Homebuy loan schemes in (a) 200405 and (b) 200506. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 14 February 2006]: As the Key Worker Living programme only operates in London, South East and Eastern regions there are no specific Homebuy loans being offered for key workers within the South West under the Government's programme. Within Dorset funding is available for a number of Homebuy and shared ownership schemes which, depending on local priorities, key workers may be eligible to apply for. Within 200405 there were 120 such completions, final figures for 200506 are not yet available.
Yvette Cooper: CORE (Continuous Recording of lettings) is a system for monitoring the letting of social rented housing which has been in operation by housing associations for the last 15 years. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently in the process of extending CORE to include lettings by local authorities. Participation by local authorities is voluntary although it is hoped that all will do so. Of the 220 local authorities which own social housing stock 86 (39 per cent.) are already submitting CORE data and an additional 105 (48 per cent.) are planning to start by 1 April 2006. The remaining 29 (13 per cent.) have not yet committed to a start date.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate his Department has made of the cost to housebuilders of making the Lifetime Homes Standards obligatory on all new house builds; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: No estimate has been made of the cost of making the Lifetime Homes Standards obligatory on all new house builds. The Lifetime Homes Standards will be introduced as a voluntary element of the Code for Sustainable Homes. The rate of adoption of the standards will be monitored, and Government have not ruled out regulation. If regulation is required, a regulatory impact assessment will be made, as normal, to establish the cost.
Mr. Purchase: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what arrangements he plans to make for his Department's financial support to local authorities for private sector capital investment from 1 April; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: Our current plans are that ODPM grant for PFI projects will continue to be paid on the same basis as in 200506. HRA housing projects will be supported as part of Housing Revenue Account Subsidy. All other operational projects will be supported by PFI grant, for which Section 31 grant determinations will be published in March setting out the full details.
Mr. Purchase: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the likely effects on local authority planning and delivery of delaying an announcement on housing capital grants. 
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will announce awards of capital grant to support local authorities' housing capital investment programmes in 200607 shortly and in sufficient time for those authorities to make full use of that support.
Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not hold this information centrally, and could provide it only at disproportionate cost. Local authorities are not required to spend their major repairs allowance (MRA) in year. They may carry the balance of their MRA forward, allowing them to build a significant resource to undertake major capital works programmes if required, rather than spreading the work out over a number of years, which may not be as efficient.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much of the £4.8 billion referred to in his Department's press release number 0278 of 20 December 2005 for local authorities in England in 200607 will come from rents paid by council tenants. 
Yvette Cooper: The £4.8 billion referred to in the press release which accompanied the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy Determination 200607 on 20 December 2005 covers allowances for management, maintenance and major repairs predominantly. In addition to expenditure in these areas, local authorities in England service debt charges amounting to some £1.2 billion annually.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) council tax and (b) business rate (i) banding and (ii) valuation appeals there were in each year since 199697; and how many were successful (A) in whole and (B) in part in each year. 
Council tax banding
|National non-domestic rates|
Records held by the Valuation Tribunal Service (VTS) do not identify whether an appeal has been fully or partially upheld. The VTS does not hold information on council tax and national non-domestic rate appeals for years prior to 200001.
Mr. Woolas: No decisions on council tax capping in 200607 have been taken yet. The Deputy Prime Minister does not intend to determine capping principles until after authorities have set their budget requirements.
Mr. Woolas: Details of the average council tax bill in England in 200506 are published in Table 2.2f of Local Government Financial Statistics England 2005, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House and on the web at: http ://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/stats/lgfs/2005/lgfs16/h/lgfs16/xlsfiles/lgfs162-2f.xls .
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