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Tuesday 14 May 2013

Volume 563 No. 5




© Parliamentary Copyright House of Commons 2013 This publication may be reproduced under the terms of the Open Parliament licence, which is published at


14 MAY 2013

House of Commons Tuesday 14 May 2013 The House met at half-past Eleven o’clock PRAYERS


and in the Budget we announced the Help to Buy scheme, a major new package to increase the supply of low-deposit mortgages for creditworthy households, which I hope the hon. Lady will welcome. Ann McKechin: In evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, the distinguished commentator, Martin Wolf, described the Government’s mortgage indemnity guarantee as “good politics and horrendous economics.”

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair] Mr Speaker: Order. I draw Members’ attention to the fact that the book for entering the private Member’s Bill ballot is now open for Members to sign in the No Lobby. It will be open until the House rises today and when the House is sitting on Wednesday 15 May. The ballot will be drawn on Thursday 16 May, and a note setting out those arrangements, and the dates when ten-minute rule motions can be made and presentation Bills introduced, are published in the Order Paper. BUSINESS BEFORE QUESTIONS SESSIONAL RETURNS Ordered, That there be laid before this House Returns for Session 2012-13 of information and statistics relating to: (1) Business of the House. (2) Closure of Debate, Proposal of Question and Allocation of Time (including Programme Motions); (3) Sittings of the House; (4) Private Bills and Private Business; (5) Public Bills; (6) Delegated Legislation and Regulatory Reform Orders; (7) European Legislation, etc; (8) Grand Committees; (9) Panel of Chairs; and (10) Select Committees.—(The Chairman of Ways and Means).

Oral Answers to Questions

Why are the Government pursuing a policy that is likely to increase the price of already over-inflated property, rather than financing affordable social housing that is needed by hundreds of thousands of people across the country? Danny Alexander: The hon. Lady comments on affordable social housing, but I note that during Labour’s 13 years in office the amount of social housing fell by 421,000. This Government’s policies will increase the amount of social housing by 200,000—a record on which she should compliment us. On the mortgage indemnity guarantee, offering support to many households who cannot afford the large deposits now required is a thoroughly good thing, and by involving the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England in a review after three years, we also have a guarantee of financial stability. Mr Philip Hollobone (Kettering) (Con): The Government’s fiscal and other policies have cut the deficit by one third, helping to keep interest rates low. What would happen to the housing market and domestic mortgage costs were interest rates to rise, even by just 1%? Danny Alexander: My hon. Friend makes an important point, and he will know that if mortgage rates increase by 1% it would add more than £10 billion a year to the costs for British households—not a consequence any of us on the Government Benches would welcome. Cathy Jamieson (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (Lab/Coop): When the priority should be helping first-time buyers, will the Chief Secretary finally rule out the Help to Buy scheme being used to buy second homes—yes or no?


Q1. Ann McKechin (Glasgow North) (Lab): what fiscal steps he plans to take to stabilise the housing [153848] market.

Danny Alexander: Actually, I have been very clear on this question throughout. It is not the intention of the Help to Buy scheme to aid people in buying second homes. The part of the scheme already up and running—the shared equity scheme—is available only for someone’s prima