Speaking during a parliamentary debate on mortgage rates this week, Bradford East’s MP, Imran Hussain has criticised the Prime Minister for telling homeowners who are facing rising mortgages to “hold their nerve,” branding him as “out of touch” with the scale of the challenge facing ordinary families in Bradford.
The Prime Minister’s comments during a BBC interview on Sunday 25 June 2023, in which he told homeowners and borrowers that they needed to hold their nerve and that the Government will stick to their plan, follows rising fears amongst mortgage borrowers that rising interest rates will see many struggling to make payments, leaving them at serious risk of repossession and forcing them to make deep cuts to their household budgets to make ends meet.
Responding in today’s parliamentary debate on mortgage and rental costs, Imran took aim at the Prime Minister’s comments, declaring that telling worried families to hold their nerve whilst they struggled to put food on the table and keep up with energy bills was “rich” coming from a Prime Minister who will never be in the difficult financial position where he’d lose his nerve, and branding him as “completely out of touch with people’s real problems”.
According to Labour Party analysis, mortgages for the average household in Bradford East are predicted to rise by £1,400, leaving over 9,000 families in Imran’s constituency facing increased mortgage payments in addition to soaring energy bills and mounting food prices.
This follows the news that many mortgage deals are being withdrawn by Banks and interest rates being increased, with Moneyfacts data suggesting the typical rate on a two-year fixed-rate loan had increased to almost 6%, almost double a year ago, and the Resolution Foundation estimating that 6.5m households will be affected by the post-mini budget rise in mortgage rates by 2026.
This week, economists warned that there is a real risk of job losses and a sharp recession. The latest forecasts of economic growth this year suggest that the UK is struggling to get out of the slow lane, with growth of just 0.2% forecast for the year.
Speaking on his criticism of the Prime Minister’s comments to worried families about rising mortgages, Imran said:
“Across Bradford East, over 9,000 families are facing a Tory Mortgage Bombshell averaging well over £1,000. For the Prime Minister to come out and tell these families that they should “hold their nerve” whilst they face sleepless nights over rising bills and missed payments is therefore quite frankly appalling, and it’s clear that this Government could not be more out of touch with the challenges that families in Bradford are facing.
“Over the last 13 years, this Government’s reckless and chaotic mismanagement of our economy which they crashed, their ideological austerity cuts, and their blatant disregard for financial rules and institutions has left our country suffering from lacklustre growth and has left working people with stagnating wages, and people in Bradford have been left struggling with the soaring cost of living crisis as a result.
“Instead of the Government’s insufficient voluntary scheme that will still leave struggling families at the mercy of the goodwill of banks and mortgage lenders who will never act in their best interests, we need to see Ministers implement a compulsory scheme that forces lenders to allow families to switch to interest-only payments or extend the term of their mortgage period if they need to in order to help them through this crisis.”