SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has pressed the Chancellor to ensure that people are protected amidst the ongoing cost of living crisis and uncertainty around the future of mortgage rates.
She has urged the Treasury to meet with financial institutions to see what additional protections could be afforded to homeowners.
Speaking after a response to her parliamentary questions to the Treasury, Ms Hanna said:
“We are the middle of a perfect storm affecting many families and we expect things to get even harder over the coming months as a direct result of this government’s economic policy and actions. Uncertainty around mortgage rates is now causing a lot of anxiety, with the possibility that people could see their mortgages jump significantly because of the disastrous Tory budget.
“People are not seeing their incomes increase and are facing a situation where they may no longer be able to afford their mortgage. People will no doubt also be forced into overdraft on bank accounts as they struggle to balance essential outgoings against income.
“The Treasury has said that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has guidance that requires firms to offer tailored forbearance options to mortgage borrowers and overdraft users that are in financial difficulty. Financial institutions must ensure that they play their part fully and I hope that mortgage providers will work constructively with borrowers to offer solutions that work for people, such as a payment holiday, partial payment, or extension of mortgage term.
“People are already suffering as a result of the actions of this Government, and we need to ensure that further blows are not caused by additional financial penalties or people being put at risk of losing their homes.”