The recent UK government cuts to support for mortgage interest (SMI) payments from next month will cause financial difficulty for thousands of home-owners on lower incomes. There are currently 110,000 claimants of SMI. A recent answer to a parliamentary question from Shadow Housing minister for England, Melanie Onn MP, revealed that up to 5% – 5,500 – of those affected haven’t had full information about the end of the scheme. A recent FOI request revealed that fewer than 7,000 households have signed up for the loan scheme which replaces SMIs.
This scheme is much valued and the Government needed to answer for its treatment of low income households. Instead the minister pointed to my voting record. What he failed to note was the reason why Labour voted against the stamp duty measures in England. We voted against the Government’s proposals because independent researched showed that it would only benefit the wealthiest in society and to make matters worse would inflate house prices not make them more affordable.