Clause 87

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 8th May 1985.

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Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington 6:30 pm, 8th May 1985

I had not intended to speak, until the hon. Member for Mid-Staffordshire (Mr. Heddle) referred to some figures for which he did not produce statistics. I went to the Library to examine the statistics and they make interesting reading. They show that the Government have no case for introducing this concession. There is no need for it. The hon. Gentleman was right that there are more private sector starts than previously. In 1977, the first year for which the tax existed, 134,810 houses were built in the private sector. In 1978 the figure increased to 157,000, and in 1983 it had reached 167,000. There is always a need to build more houses, but these figures show a successful policy, which is based on raising development land tax. The tax paid does not impede growth in the private sector; indeed, it is supporting the private sector house building programme.