HC Deb 25 January 1972 vol 829 cc1171-2
1. Mr. Hardy

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the number of surtax payers in receipt of tax allowance on mortgage interest and the proportion receiving such allowance in respect of mortgages of over £10,000.

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?

Mr. Jenkin

That will obviously apply in a great many cases.

Mr. Jay

Does not the Minister realise that if a limit is not soon set to this tax relief, there will be a justifiable demand for tax relief for rents, which are the equivalent of mortgage interest?

Mr. Jenkin

That is an entirely different question.