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Mortgage Interest Payments

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 15th July 1997.

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Photo of Damian Green Damian Green Conservative, Ashford 8:45 pm, 15th July 1997

I support the amendment in the interests of home owners in my constituency and around the country. Secondly, and possibly of equal importance, I support it on the basis of the arguments that we have heard on both sides of the Committee in what has been a fairly lengthy debate. The poverty of the argument in favour of the Government's case for reducing MIRAS is now clear to those of us who have followed the debate.

I should like to pick up on some of the points made by Labour Members. First, however, I should like to refer to the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Teignbridge (Mr. Nicholls), who said that one of the most scathing attacks against the principle of cutting MIRAS came from the Prime Minister. The hon. Member for Croydon, Central (Mr. Davies) said that those comments were quoted out of context; I shall give him that context—it was a speech to a Labour housing conference. That attack was the central point of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. He argued that cutting MIRAS would add to insecurity, destroy confidence in the housing market and make people much more wary of buying and selling homes.