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'Aim is not to force down house prices'

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TREASURY'S plan to scrap mortgage interest tax relief is not designed to lower house prices, its minister has said.

TREASURY'S plan to scrap mortgage interest tax relief is not designed to lower house prices, its minister has said.

Gavin St Pier, pictured, clarified the position after people commenting on the Guernsey Press's sister website thisisguernsey expressed concerns that phasing out the relief would put them in negative equity.

'It is not a policy objective to drive house prices down, because that is obviously not a very wise policy.

'We are not saying property prices will, or should, come down. We are saying the rate of increases will slow if we do not have taxpayers subsidising property purchase,' he said.

Vale poll-topper Deputy Matt Fallaize has drafted an amendment seeking to defeat Treasury's proposition, saying the department put the 'cart before the horse and the States needs to rearrange them'.

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