A BARNSLEY MP has blasted the government for failing to address ‘unmanageable’ mortgage rates despite pressure to step in - after she warned many of her constituents are struggling to make ends meet and risk losing their homes unless a solution is found.
Stephanie Peacock, the MP for Barnsley East, asked for the apology in Parliament whilst ministers were giving an update on their housing plan.
In Barnsley East - one of the poorest constituencies in the town - people are regularly falling behind on their mortgage and rent payments due to the rise in rates, she said.
Analysis revealed mortgages in the area - which includes places such Brierley, Cudworth, Grimethorpe, Shafton and Wombwell - have increased by about £1,500 a year.
Ministry of Justice data shows 107 claims to repossess a property in Barnsley were lodged by mortgage lenders and landlords from October to December last year.
It means there were more than double the number of claims in the latest quarter than over the same period in 2021, when 50 were submitted.
Ms Peacock said: “The government announced the next stage in their housing plan in Parliament recently but still did not acknowledge the cause of so many financial troubles in households across the country - the disastrous ‘mini budget’ of October 2022.
“The cost-of-living has increased and there are effects being felt across the world, however there is no other country feeling the effects as we are in the UK.
“Many people in Barnsley have been struggling with the cost of living and one of the greatest household outgoings are mortgage payments.
“Over the past year, these payments have grown considerably leaving many people at a loss.
“The government can continue to pretend that this is not the reason for rising costs, but people across Barnsley know this is not true.
“I will continue to call on the government to apologise for their actions.
“Over the last year, people have already been making sacrifices to their budgets where they can - from pensioners cutting down on essentials to parents giving up meals so their children can eat.
“Now, for most, there is no longer any room for manoeuvre.
“As it stands, the Conservatives have lost control of the economy, and working people are being left to pay the price.
“People in Barnsley should not have to shoulder the burden of this government’s mistakes.”
A government statement said mortgages’ pricing rates are not something ministers had intervened with.
They added: “Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules require lenders to engage individually with their customers who are struggling or who are worried about their payments in order to provide tailored support.
“The government has also taken measures aimed at helping people to avoid repossession
“The pricing of mortgages is a commercial decision for lenders, including relevant credit unions, in which the government does not intervene.”