Stamp Duty (Temporary Provisions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:19 pm on 20th January 1992.

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Photo of Dr John Marek Dr John Marek , Wrexham 10:19 pm, 20th January 1992

Indeed. They are hearing and agreeing with the veracity of my remarks.

There is no recovery in sight, and any recovery that there may be will be spasmodic and minor. The Government, typically, have not produced a Bill that will get the economy back into shape by kick-starting it. They are trying to kick-start a spurious housing market to try to create a consumer boom, to make people think that they are wealthy and to make them feel good so that they can win the election. It is all about the election and gimmickry; it is not about good government and it is certainly not about consideration for those who have housing difficulties.

I remind the House that this change in Government policy is not the only one. The Prime Minister, when he was a social security Minister, cut mortgage support from 100 per cent. to 50 per cent. for the first six months for people who had to live on benefit either because they had been made redundant or because they had become unemployed. Indeed, when the right hon. Gentleman introduced the measure five years ago he boasted about it. He said that there was too much support for housing. Now, the Government have come round full circle. Suddenly, the reality of an election is before them and they can see the deadline of the buffers only a few yards ahead of them. That is why they are trying to help the housing market in such a peculiar way.

There has been another change in Tory party philosophy recently. Only a year ago, mortgage interest relief at 40 per cent. was withdrawn and restricted to the 30 per cent. tax rate.