The Government are committed to helping people own their own home. Our new mortgage guarantee scheme is increasing the availability of mortgages for credit-worthy households who only have a 5% deposit, helping them realise their dream of home ownership. The lifetime ISA provides a bonus to those under 40 saving towards a home, worth up to £450,000.
I refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Last week, The Sunday Times detailed the colossal sums imposed on ordinary people by rapacious freeholders and reckless developers. Why should anyone risk purchasing a lease on a residential flat if we fail as a Government to protect innocent leaseholders from bearing the costs of defective extra storeys or defective extra cladding forced on them by those who are actually responsible for such terrible defects?
I thank my right hon. Friend for his question. The Government are investing more than £5 billion in building safety, including an additional £3.5 billion announced this year for the remediation of unsafe cladding for all leaseholders living in high-rise residential buildings. We are also introducing a new tax on the UK residential property development sector and a new levy on developers of certain high-rise buildings to help pay for cladding remediation costs.
Does my hon. Friend agree that the mortgage guarantee scheme has in a short time seen a dramatic increase in the availability of 95% mortgages, which will make home ownership a realistic goal for people aspiring to be homeowners?
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Since the scheme has been up and running—as he says, it has been a matter of only a few weeks—we have seen the provision of 95% mortgages expand from just five to 192. This is a significant change, and I am grateful to the industry for the moves that it has made, with Government support.