Below is the text of Mr Major's response on Mortgage Rates made on 7th June 1990 in the House of Commons.
Mr. Wilson To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will next meet the Council of Mortgage Lenders to discuss mortgage rates.
Mr. Sedgemore To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will next meet the Council of Mortgage Lenders to discuss mortgage rates.
Mr. Major I have no present plans to do so, although I recently met the chairman of the organisation, Mr. Birrell.
Mr. Wilson Does the Chancellor accept that the smug levity with which the Economic Secretary answered the previous question about mortgage rates paid scant respect to the hundreds of thousands of people who are suffering profoundly because of the Chancellor's one-
Mr. Major There was neither rubbish nor smug levity in what my hon. Friend said. If the hon. Gentleman consults the Council of Mortgage Lenders or the Building Societies Association, they will tell him without reservation that mortgage arrears account for only a small amount of repossessions and that the principal problems that cause repossessions and other difficulties are marriage break-
Mr. Sedgemore When the Chancellor is told by his Permanent Secretary that 70,000 mortgage holders are six months or more in arrears does he say to himself, "How could I conceivably have been so incompetent, so ignorant and so irresponsible as to ruin the lives of so many people?" -
Mr. Major I understand the concern of people with mortgage difficulties. The hon. Gentleman, who phrased his question with his usual charm, should bear it in mind that the number of borrowers in serious difficulties remains a very tiny proportion, as traditionally they have been. He will be aware, because I know that he takes an interest in this matter, that the Council of Mortgage Lenders recently issued all sorts of indications of precisely how the lending societies can help people who are in mortgage difficulties. The societies are doing so and I hope that they will continue to do so.