HC Deb 28 April 1971 vol 816 c405
12. Mr. Tebbit

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will inquire into the increases in the price of new town houses since he announced his plan for 20 per cent. discount sales.

Mr. Peter Walker

My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Channon), has written to my hon. Friend giving him the result of inquiries into this.

Mr. Tebbit

I thank my right hon. Friend for making the inquiries. Is he aware that in July, 1970, Harlow Development Corporation offered my constituent, Mr. Smalley, the opportunity of buying the house in which he lives for £5,800 and that after the 20 per cent. discount was announced the Corporation increased the price by 19 per cent. before reducing it by 20 per cent.? Is my right hon. Friend further aware that, to add insult to insult, his colleagues in the Treasury charged the stamp duty on the price of £6,900 and not on the discounted price? Has any other new town behaved in this manner?

Mr. Walker

I am sorry to hear the details of this case. I hope that Harlow New Town will consider giving many more tenants the opportunity of buying their own house. One factor which has increased the price is the shortage of supply.