Homeowners with Mortgages: Support

Treasury – in the House of Commons at on 6 February 2024.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

What steps he is taking to help support homeowners with mortgages.

Photo of Bim Afolami Bim Afolami The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

As the House knows, the path to lower interest rates is through lower inflation, which is why the Government are fully committed to supporting the Bank of England to get inflation back down to its 2% target. If mortgage borrowers fall into financial difficulty, our mortgage charter, which covers about 90% of the market, includes new flexibilities to help customers manage their repayments, on top of the Financial Conduct Authority’s rules on how lenders must treat borrowers.

Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

Given that a lot of mortgage payers are suffering because of the rapid hike in interest rates, will the Government continue to talk to the Bank of England and mortgage lenders to see what can be done to bring interest rates down? That would help most people.

Photo of Bim Afolami Bim Afolami The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I completely agree on the absolute need to drive mortgage rates down, which is why we are supporting the Bank of England’s independent remit to bring interest rates down. We are also ensuring that we do not do things to make inflation worse, such as adding £28 billion to Government borrowing, which would increase inflation.

Photo of Marion Fellows Marion Fellows Scottish National Party, Motherwell and Wishaw

The rate for a two-year fixed mortgage remains more than double the level of December 2021. More than 900,000 borrowers are set to see their monthly payments rise by £500 or even £1,000 a month. Government Ministers are having to resign because of increasing mortgage payments. How does the Chancellor expect people in Scotland to cope with increased mortgage rates if his Ministers cannot?

Photo of Bim Afolami Bim Afolami The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I would say two things in response to the hon. Lady. First, the best thing we can do is to help people with the cost of living, not increase their taxes, as the SNP in Scotland proposes, and to maintain—[Interruption.] I will not get bored of saying this. Secondly, we maintain our support for the Bank of England driving inflation down. We have more than halved it. We will continue to do that, and interest rates will come right down.