Tory mortgage bombshell is taking a heavy toll - Ian Murray

The slow-burn impact of the cost-of-living crisis is starkly illustrated by the mortgage crisis facing millions of households.

Yesterday, the Bank of England warned that mortgage payments will rise by at least another £500 a month for many between the end of this year and 2026.

And already rates have soared to their highest level for 15 years, boosted by the Tories crashing the economy.

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As of today, 1,137,231 have been hit by this Tory mortgage bombshell as their fixed term mortgages have expired. This figure grows by 4,000 every day.

While many households have been on fixed rates, ensuring they didn’t face a double whammy of rising bills when the energy costs crisis hit, the prospect of astronomical charges is now causing alarm.

For workers whose wages haven’t kept up with inflation, the idea of finding hundreds of pounds extra every month can be overwhelming, and there is a real risk many will fall behind with repayments with homes at risk.

The crisis is also pricing people out of the market, with hundreds of thousands of people set to become ‘sofa surfers’.

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The UK Government cannot simply stand back and allow this situation to worsen.

Labour has previously set out plans to ease the Tory mortgage crisis, with a set of mandatory measures.

These would instruct the regulator to require all lenders to bring in procedures such as allowing borrowers to switch to interest only mortgage payments for a temporary period, or to lengthen the term of their mortgage period.

And we must never forget the challenges in the rental market either, which is why we need a charter to make renting fairer, more secure and more affordable. As landlord mortgages rise so does the rents for their tenants. It’s the perfect storm for households.

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But while the government must stop standing on the sidelines, the lenders also need to be held to account.

Bank and building society bosses have rightly been called before the Treasury Select Committee so they can hear about the anxiety faced by borrowers.

Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary Lisa Nandy and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves have also taken the kind of action the government should be doing by convening an emergency summit of mortgage brokers to hear more about the impact of the crisis on first-time buyers and homeowners.

Every MP knows from their constituents how challenging the situation has become. I have been working hard on behalf of one local family, for example, who were at risk of having their home repossessed by Pepper Money.

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The firm operates behind a host of different trading names and tried to pass the buck, before eventually the repossession was postponed – but I will be pursuing some of the questions this has raised with the regulator, The Financial Conduct Authority.

And all the PM has to offer is to ask householders, who can’t sleep at night, to “hold their nerve”. How out of touch can her be?

Thirteen years of Tory economic failure have left a broken housing market, insecure economy, soaring prices and broken public services.

It’s abundantly clear now that Labour is the only choice to build a stronger economy.

We need a government that puts financial and economic security first and gets our economy growing, so we can build the future that the country deserves.

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