§ 28. Mr. Dodds
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the ever-increasing obstacles to house ownership resulting from Government policy, what consideration he has given to providing financial incentives to would-be owner-occupiers and to relieving building societies of financial obligations to enable them to offer more favourable terms to borrowers for house purchase purposes than is at present possible.
§ Mr. Dodds
As spokesman for a party that has had so much to say about a property-owning democracy, does not the Chancellor think it is about time that something was given to the would-be house owner? Is he not aware that building societies are having to turn away six or seven times as many people as they can help? In this year of the Rent Act, cannot he say something to encourage those who want to buy their own houses?
I think we must keep this matter in perspective, and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will. The figures for new houses built for private ownership are not by any means bad, and in addition, in 1957, the building societies lent an all-time record total for this purpose.
§ Mr. Dodds
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that in the last Finance Bill his predecessor gave an undertaking that he would sympathetically consider this point before the next Budget? Does he intend to be as liberal as his predecessor, or is he to be a proper stick-in-the-mud? And when he speaks about the increased building society 1078 business, is he not aware that prices have gone up considerably?
I think I must answer the hon. Gentleman's rather long supplementary by saying, again, that I cannot anticipate my Budget statement.
§ Mr. Remnant
Does not my right hon. Friend agree that in fact these building societies are non-profit-making bodies? If they are subject to Profits Tax, is not the cure in their own hands?