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Emergency mortgage support fund call for ‘homeowners on the brink’

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

More than half of homeowners say the government is not doing enough to help with rising mortgage costs.

Renters are just as unhappy with 59% expressing dissatisfaction with current government action on increasing rental costs, according to 2,156 polled by the Liberal Democrats.

The political party said the dissatisfaction towards action on mortgage and rental costs came as interest rates are due to rise this week.

Last week, chancellor Rishi Sunak stated that some mortgage borrowers not on fixed rate deals could see their mortgage payments increase by £1,000 over the next 12 months and said interest rates could reach 1.25%.

The Liberal Democrats said that an Emergency Mortgage Support Fund should be launched to support struggling homeowners, whereby payments are provided to those who can’t afford their monthly mortgage bill.

The waiting time for payment would be around 13 weeks and it would be aimed at “low income working families at risk of default”.

It said the Conservative government had cancelled a similar scheme in 2018.

The government currently offers loans with interest to those on benefits who are not in work. It also provides a Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme, but the Lib Dems said this included a 39-week waiting period which could put many in further financial straits.

The political party also called for VAT to be slashed, which it said could save a family around £600 a year.

Liberal Democrat treasury spokesperson, Christine Jardine, MP said: “Homeowners are on the brink and urgently need help, yet this Conservative government is nowhere to be seen. The chancellor is completely out of touch.

“All we’ve seen from Rishi Sunak is tax hikes and empty promises. People’s homes are on the line here, from first-time buyers who scrimped and saved to get on the ladder to pensioners still paying off their mortgage.”

She added: “Renters in high priced cities such as London and Edinburgh are also crying out for help. The government can’t ignore them any longer. There must be an emergency tax cut before it’s too late for families and pensioners.”