Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 22nd January 2009.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, Minister of State (Government Equalities Office), The Leader of the House of Commons , Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Party Chair, Labour Party, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 11:34 am, 22nd January 2009

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that there has been a big fall in capacity in the mortgage market, which has come from the collapse of banks in Iceland, in Ireland and internationally. A lot of our mortgage market was already dependent on loans and mortgages that came from abroad, in what is a global financial market. He will also know that the mortgage companies and banks in this country depend on loans from other banks abroad, and that inter-bank lending has, to a degree, frozen up. This is a matter of working nationally to recapitalise the banks and put them in a position where we can expect them to lend again, and of working with our international counterparts to ensure that there is confidence across the banking system internationally. I agree with the hon. Gentleman's concern about the lack of mortgage finance going into housing, and about the effect of that on construction, which is absolutely evident. This is a top priority, and if he has any further suggestions that are properly backed with funds and thought out, we will obviously consider them.

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