I know that many of my constituents are homeowners with mortgages. A number of these have contacted me recently about the impact of rising interest rates, which is something we are seeing reflected across the world and has led the Bank of England to increase interest rates to 5% in line with their responsibilities as an independent organisation.
I am deeply sympathetic to all those affected across Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner as I know the anxiety that this issue can cause. I am glad that the Government has already taken steps to support families and households with the effect of increased cost of living. The total support package is worth £94 billion or £3,300 per household. Due to continuing pressure for borrowers, the Chancellor met with the UK’s principal mortgage lenders last week along with representatives from the Financial Conduct Authority and UK Finance. Following this meeting, the Chancellor came to Parliament to update MPs on what had been agreed.
During his statement, I had the opportunity to thank the Chancellor for the work that has already been done. As I set out, without intervention many households would continue to cause my constituents anxiety and put the dream of home ownership even further out of reach.
In his response, the Chancellor outlined how the measures agreed will make a big difference for homeowners, especially those in arrears. Measures agreed include the ability to speak to your lender for help, without any impact on their credit file, supporting customers to switch to a new mortgage deal where possible, commitment from lenders to be open with customers providing greater support and also that, unless in exceptional circumstances, a borrower will not be forced from their property in less than a year from their first missed payment. By allowing greater flexibility, it is hoped that borrowers will have time to get their finances in order and secure their property for the future.