HC Deb 07 February 1967 vol 740 cc1344-5
25. Mr. Scott

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why he decided to postpone indefinitely the introduction of a Government sponsored 100 per cent. mortgage guarantee; and whether he will now reconsider his decision.

Mr. Greenwood

The option mortgage scheme must come first and this will add to the demand for finance for house purcase. When this need has been met, we shall decide, with knowledge of the amount of money then available, when to bring the guarantee scheme into operation.

Mr. Scott

The Minister has not told us why he postponed it. Does he not agree that the postponing of the 100 per cent. scheme will render the option scheme largely useless, because the very people who want the option scheme will not have the 100 per cent. mortgages?

Mr. Greenwood

I have dealt with this question on previous occasions. We have to have the money available for the building societies to meet the additional commitments into which they will enter this year. We can then proceed to the next stage of the scheme, but it would be quite wrong, I think, to anticipate the successful completion of the period between now and the end of the year.

Mr. Graham Page

If the Minister cannot carry out yet another promise of the Government, would he kindly consider introducing the Conservative proposal for supplementing the savings of those who have saved up for their deposits—by a grant, not by loan?

Mr. Greenwood

There is certainly no question here of breaking a promise. Building society funds this year will be considerably greater than last year, and I think they must have those funds to meet the demands which will be made on them. We can then go ahead with the option scheme to meet the demand, and I am quite satisfied that the demand can be met and we can bring the scheme into operation.

Mr. Barnett

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are many companies taking advantage of the present situation, and providing second mortgages at enormous interest rates? Will my right hon. Friend consider guaranteeing second mortgages so as to alleviate the problems of people buying houses?

Mr. Greenwood

I will look into that.