Stamp Duty (Temporary Provisions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:07 pm on 20th January 1992.

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Photo of Mr Hugo Summerson Mr Hugo Summerson , Walthamstow 11:07 pm, 20th January 1992

I am talking about the Labour party, following what it did last time and tripling the rate of VAT on so-called "luxury" items.

Once the Bill has become law, I recommend that the London borough of Waltham Forest reduces its enormous holdings of property. That Labour-controlled council owns property which brings in at least £1 million. Anyone who walks down Hoe street in my constituency will come across two shops side by side which are derelict and boarded up. They been derelict and boarded up for years. That council is always complaining about lack of money, yet is has resources to hand, and if it only used them it could benefit the entire community.

The hon. Member for Wrexham spoke a great deal about whether the Bill would kick-start the market. I remind him that kick-starting is a rather inefficient method by which to start a very small engine. The housing market in such terms is rather a large engine. We shall never be able to kick-start it; we need a battery by which to get it going. The Bill will put some charge into the battery. A number of factors will get the housing market moving and the Bill is just one of them. Any reduction in the cost of buying and selling property is welcome. I welcome the Bill.