HC Deb 25 March 1991 vol 188 cc604-5
26. Mr. Cohen

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy or Lancaster how many properties for which he is responsible are mortgaged.

Mr. Chris Patten

None, Sir.

Mr. Cohen

Are not the Minister and his colleagues working a stroke here? Is that not what the odd 0.5 per cent. cut in interest rates amounts to when building societies do not reduce the mortgage rate? Presumably there will be a reduction just before the general election, but if by some horror the Conservative party were to remain in power, interest rates—including mortgage rates—would immediately go up again. Does the Minister agree that that would be to the disadvantage of every mortgage payer in the Duchy of Lancaster and throughout the country?

Mr. Patten

There is much in the hon. Gentleman's question with which I disagree. It will be in the interests of home owners in the future, as it has been in the past, to have a Conservative Government. Thanks to the fact that the country has had a Conservative Government for the past decade, there are more than 3 million additional home owners. All those who have purchased council houses will recognise that if the Labour party had been in power they would not have been able to do so. I am sure that all home owners are very pleased with the 2.5 per cent. reduction in interest rates since we joined the exchange rate mechanism and look forward to seeing that reduction feed through to their mortgages.

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