§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Patrick Jenkin)
On the first part of the Question, probably under 100,000. I am afraid that no further information is available.
§ Mr. Hardy
Will not most of those people be receiving far more benefit from public funds than any council tenant in the country and will not much of that benefit be in respect of the purchase either of a second home or of property for a lucrative investment? Will not the Minister urge his right hon. Friend to reconsider this whole matter, if not in the interests of a fair deal, then at least in the interests of diminishing the frightening rise in house prices?
§ Mr. Jenkin
The hon. Gentleman must be forgetting that in the 1969 arrangements introduced by the Labour Government no differentiation was made for purposes of mortgage interest relief between a taxpayer who owned one house and a taxpayer who owned more than one house or who bought property for letting.
§ Mr. Trew
Does not my hon. Friend agree that when considering tax relief on large mortgages it is worth bearing in mind that many properties bought on such mortgages will eventually attract estate duty, when the revenue forgone by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in income tax relief will be clawed back in estate duty?