We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Mortgage Interest Payments

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 15th July 1997.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Tim Collins Mr Tim Collins Conservative, Westmorland and Lonsdale 8:30 pm, 15th July 1997

Any tax increase is clearly made for a number of reasons. Raising revenue is likely to be one of them. One of the reasons why MIRAS was reduced by a Government who were, unlike the present Government, not ideologically in favour of increasing taxes for the sake of it was to plug the gap in the nation's finances caused by a global recession. I am sure that that was a factor. If the hon. Lady goes back and checks in full all the remarks made by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, she will find what was his thinking. If all that he had been interested in doing was raising as much revenue as possible, he would not have picked a particular level but would have abolished MIRAS entirely.

The Financial Secretary will know that plenty of so-called experts believe that it would be a good idea to sweep MIRAS away. I believe that there is a philosophical and general case for a good level of MIRAS throughout the system. The hon. Lady will know that it is not enough to say, "We need to raise more revenue." If one does that, one whacks taxes up immediately. That is the answer to the hon. Lady's point. I now return to what I was saying before she interrupted me.