HC Deb 25 July 1990 vol 177 c458
15. Sir Fergus Montgomery

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to introduce controls on the ownership of second homes.

Mr. Nicholls

We have no plans to do so.

Sir Fergus Montgomery

Does my hon. Friend agree that the policy of the Labour party to give councils the right to decide whether people should have second homes in their areas is the ultimate example of the Labour party's determination to give power to the bureaucrats over the freedom of the individual?

Mr. Nicholls

My hon. Friend has it exactly. Although the Labour party does its best to disguise the true effect of most of its policies, on this occasion it has helpfully been made perfectly clear. The hon. Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley) is on record as saying: The way it would work is if you wanted to sell to someone who wanted to use the house as a second home, you couldn't".

Mr. Butler

Does my hon. Friend accept that there are many modest second homes owned by people on low incomes, limited pensions and even income support? Will he consider extending transitional relief or rebates to those people?

Mr. Nicholls

My hon. Friend certainly makes an interesting point. People who own second homes do not always fit the rich profile that one may have in mind. The Labour party's policy would bite against everyone, particularly the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Gould) who has a country home in the Cotswolds.