I rise, as is the custom in these matters, to declare an interest as a consultant partner in a firm of chartered surveyors which might in the past have earned fees from acting for clients who were contesting tax claims with the development land tax office in Middlesbrough. In a sense, I am declaring a reverse interest because that firm may lose fees it might otherwise have received had my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer not made that welcome and overdue announcement in his Budget speech.
I remember when the Government of which the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill (Mr. Davis) was not a member introduced the Community Land Bill in 1975. It was an act of political vindictiveness. At a stroke it froze the supply of land that builders—the largest employers of skilled labour—wanted to enable them to build homes for the first-time buyers over whom that same Government were weeping crocodile tears.