Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1974 Sep 24 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

Speech in Finchley

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Speech
Venue: East Finchley Library, High Road, Finchley N2
Source: (1) Conservative Party Archive: CCOPR GE48/74 (2) ITN Archive: News At Ten, 24 September 1974 (3) BBC Sound Archive: OUP transcript
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: 2000. The Times, 25 September 1974, adds further material: "Mrs Thatcher said at East Finchley last night that the Conservative Party had held mortgage rates at 9.5 per cent before. The cost worked out at about pound120m a year to reduce the building societies’ interest rates by 1 per cent. From this must be deducted some savings in tax relief."
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 1056
Themes: General Elections, Monetary policy, Housing
(1) Conservative Party Archive: CCOPR

CONSERVATIVES PLAN MORTGAGES BREAKTHROUGH

“Remember 9½ on the 10th”

Two particular problems affect people who are or who want to be home owners:-

If they have a house they are worried about the 11%; mortgage and when it may go up again;

If they haven't, they worry about the deposit as well as the 11%;.

The next Conservative Government intends to make a dramatic breakthrough in the housing field by reducing the mortgage interest rate to a maximum of 9½%; for both existing and new home owners.

Further it will give first time buyers who are prepared to save regularly a grant towards the deposit.

The 9½%; Mortgage:

This will end the fear of ever-increasing mortgage repayments on their existing loan. [end p1]

Families will be able to budget with certainty a long way ahead knowing that their monthly payments will at long last be protected.

The reduction from 11%; to 9½%; will be among the first measures to be implemented by a Conservative Government.

For the person with a £7,000 mortgage repayable over 25 years, their monthly repayments would drop by £7.47 and for £10,000 mortgage by £10.70.

Under our proposals all who have or wish to have the independence of their own home will benefit.

Many people would like to move to a better or bigger house. Some who have bought their home in recent years now have families and need more accommodation.

For them a move will be easier; when they take out a new mortgage they will know what their maximum liability will be.

More smaller homes will be released as a result for first time buyers to purchase.

Help with the deposit

But young couples need extra help to embark on the course of home ownership. We intend to give them that help.

We propose a Home Savings Grant Scheme.

If the first time purchaser saves regularly with a Building Society over a period of at least two years, then for every £2 he saves the Government would add £1.

There would be a top limit for savings of £5 per week so that the £520 over two years would attract a grant of £260. The savings would of course earn interest.

If both partners saved they would both qualify for the grant. [end p2]

Their combined savings and grant could then amount to over £1,500 plus interest towards the deposit.

The combination of the maximum mortgage interest rate and the deposit scheme should help restore confidence to the house-building industry.

So our policy constitutes a better use of resources and helps more people.

Labour wishes to have more power over people's homes and lives and is prepared to spend our money for that purpose.

Conservatives wish to help people towards independence and self-reliance—to run their own lives in their own homes in their own way.

Labour believes in making people dependent on Government.

We believe in helping them to be independent from Government. [end p3]

(2) ITN Archive: News At Ten, 24 September 1974

Tonight not unexpectedly the Conservatives hit back. Their shadow environment minister, Mrs. Thatcher, who's put forward the Conservative plans, said Mr. Crosland 's remarks were typical of people who had no positive proposals.

Speaking in North London, she again outlined her plans to reduce mortgage interest, encourage saving and phase out rates.

She claimed that if the Conservatives had held down mortgage rates longer the result of the last election might well have been different. Then, undeterred by Mr. Crosland's morning strictures she went on to advocate the merit of their plans again. [end p4]

Thatcher

The most important aspect of all our proposals is the human factor. At last a young couple can really budget for the future, knowing how much they have to spend on their home. At last a Council tenant can look forward to a time when he'll not have to pay any more rent and he'll actually own his home. At last someone thought of doing something for the non-militants, the non-organized non-political people who feel that they've been forgotten. (APPLAUSE.) Our promises are few. They are on the subject of housing and rates and pensions. We have deliberately limited the promises to those things. They are very much less expensive than many of the things which the Labour Party proposes to do. That they show the importance to which we attach to improving the living conditions of the people and hoping to fight inflation as it affects those who suffer most from it.

(3) BBC Sound Archive: OUP transcript:

MT

The most important aspect of all our proposals is the human factor. At last the young couple can really budget for the future, knowing how much they have to spend on their home. At last the council tenant can look forward to a time when he'll not have to pay anymore rent and will actually own his home. At last someone's thought of doing something for the non-militants, the non-organized, non-political people who feel that they've been forgotten. Applause

Our promises are few. They are on the subject of housing and rates and pensions. We have deliberately limited the promises to those things. They are very much less expensive than many of the things which the Labour Party proposes to do, but they show the importance to which we attach to improving the living conditions of the people and hoping to fight inflation as it affects those who suffer most from it.

Now, uh, shall we turn to pensions and would the cameras like to go and have some tea, or coffee, or beer. (Laughter). If you've got what you want, now, you could, you're welcome to stay for the rest, for pensions, for inflation, for coalition, for non-coalition. How are you doing?

Laughter

INTERVENTION by reporter or photographer?

Just checking.

MT

Just checking! You're just checking, I know what, they have, we might find it's all failed and have to start all over again. Ah, it would be very much better the second time, if you'd like to start all over again, probably much more natural and relaxed, I'm already feeling relaxed at the possibility of your going. [Laughter] Well you've come to the right meeting, we always have a friendly meeting in this hall, although the traffic gets very heavy outside and I'm usually asked some questions about transport policy.