Labour’s Shadow Deputy PM Angela Rayner, Scottish deputy leader Jackie Baillie and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves talked down Tory mortgage policies.
By Bill Heaney
Labour Party politicians at Westminster and Holyrood have been scathing in their condemnation of Conservative money policies which have allowed mortgage costs to soar across the whole United Kingdom.
Angela Rayner told Oliver Dowden, who took over at the dispatch box for PM Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the reasons being given by him for the ever-increasing cost of mortgages was “pathetic”.
She said: “We have had 13 years of Conservative failures. Homeowners watching that pathetic answer will be cringing: they are not celebrating the Government’s success; they are counting the cost of their failures.
“It is not just homeowners who are suffering. Security of renters has been ripped away too, with higher mortgage costs handed directly to them. Given most renters live in homes with a buy-to-let mortgage, can he tell us: are buy-to-let properties included in the mortgage support package—yes or no?”
Meanwhile, ahead of visiting Centrica Green Skills Centre in Glasgow today (Friday), Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said the party would not stand by as Scots facing eye-watering mortgage rises as a result of Tory economic failure.
It follows interest rates rising for the 13th time in June, increasing the painful squeeze on family finances – with the Tory mortgage bombshell hitting households hard, and little action from a shambolic and distracted SNP to help support those facing the cost of living crisis.
And it comes as Labour reveal new figures showing how 546,600 households in Scotland will be paying an average of £190 more a month on their mortgages next year. In West Dunbartonshire it will be around £130 and Argyll and Bute £190.
Jackie Baillie said: “Across Scotland and across my constituency, families are being hit hard by the toxic combination of a Tory mortgage bombshell and an incompetent SNP distracted by scandal. These rises will push many people in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond into hardship.
“Unlike both the Tory and SNP governments, myself and my Labour colleagues will not stand by while Scots face the reality of those failures.
“Labour’s mandatory plan, and our Mortgage Rescue Scheme to ease the Tory mortgage bombshell, offers Scottish families practical help now and, in government, we will commit to fiscal responsibility and growth to secure our economy for the future.”
“Labour’s plans to protect mortgage holders – unlike the Conservatives’ – would be made compulsory by instructing the regulator to require all lenders to bring in measures such as allowing borrowers to switch to interest only mortgage payments for a temporary period or to lengthen the term of their mortgage period.
“By failing to make its own measures mandatory, the government are allowing households across Scotland to miss out on the mortgage support they need.”
The Tory mortgage bombshell is already hitting households across Scotland hard and is only made worse by the SNP’s dogged refusal to use the powers they have and adopt Scottish Labour’s plans for a Mortgage Rescue Scheme to help people lower their payments and provide a safety net for those at risk of losing their homes.
Reeves will visit Centrica Green Skills Centre with Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar and Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds to promote the party’s focus on lowering energy bills and creating new jobs in the industries of the future across Scotland, through the party’s Green Prosperity Plan.
Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said:“Across Scotland, families are being hit hard by the toxic combination of a Tory mortgage bombshell and an incompetent SNP distracted by scandal.
“Unlike both these governments, Labour will not stand by while Scots face the reality of those failures.
“Not only has their economic recklessness driven this crisis, but this Tory government’s failure to make its measures mandatory leaves households across Scotland missing out on the mortgage support they need.
“Labour’s mandatory plan and our Mortgage Rescue Scheme to ease the Tory mortgage bombshell offers Scottish families practical help now, while our commitment to fiscal responsibility and growth will secure our economy for the future.”
- Last year Scottish Labour called on the SNP Government to relaunch and revamp the Mortgage to Shared Equity Scheme so that it acted as a true safety net of last resort for people at risk of losing their home because of soaring mortgage payments. Scottish Labour would relaunch the scheme and widen access by amending the house price thresholds and reducing the size of equity required for eligibility. Scottish Labour would also ensure the scheme had a two year turnaround. Full details of Scottish Labour’s proposed Mortgage Rescue Scheme is available here