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Mortgage Interest

Volume 982: debated on Wednesday 16 April 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report information showing (a) the total savings to the Exchequer if schedule A tax was restored on the assumptions that relief on mortgage interest and life assurance was abolished in current conditions, (b) by how much the threshold of the basic rate band could be lifted or the standard rate reduced if the whole of this amount was available for that purpose, and (c) the gains and losses in each income band for: (i) householders with no mortgage or life assurance and a typical house in that income range in Greater London and the North-East, respectively, (ii) householders in these regions with an average mortgage appropriate to their income band and (iii) householders in these regions with an average mortgage and an average life insurance appropriate to their income band.

At 1979–80 tax rates and allowances the total saving in a full year if mortgage interest and life assurance relief were abolished and schedule A tax re-introduced, assuming as in earlier questions from the hon. Member that only one-fifth of the gross rental value were allowed as a deduction to cover the cost of repairs and renewals, would be about £3,750 million. This sum would have allowed the lower and basic rates to be reduced to about 23p disregarding the consequent reduction in the yield of schedule A tax. Taking that effect into account the possible reduction of the lower and basic rates would be to about 24p. Alternatively, the main personal allowances could have been increased by some £500.I regret that the information is not available on which to answer the remainder of the hon. Member's question.