16 May 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Mortgage repossession claims reach five-year high as families risk losing their homes to Conservative chaos
  • Carer’s Allowance report: Government cannot bury its head in the sand
  • Scottish Liberal Democrat conference to call on Swinney to ditch SNP’s takeover of social care
  • Welsh Lib Dems call for foster carer salary
  • Cole-Hamilton urges First Minister to tackle rural healthcare crisis

Mortgage repossession claims reach five-year high as families risk losing their homes to Conservative chaos

Mortgage possession claims have reached their highest level since 2019 as soaring mortgage rates since the mini budget hit homeowners, figures published by the Ministry of Justice today have revealed.

Mortgage possession claims occur when banks or lenders take homeowners to court before repossessing their home. The latest figures show there were 5,182 mortgage repossession claims in the first quarter of 2024, the highest number since 2019.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

These deeply worrying figures show a steep rise in families at risk of losing their homes due to soaring mortgage rates.

This Conservative government crashed the economy with their disastrous mini budget and sent mortgage rates spiralling. But now Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have failed to lift a finger to help those impacted by this Conservative chaos.

It is unforgivable and shows just how out of touch the Conservative Party is with people struggling to get by.

Carer’s Allowance report: Government cannot bury its head in the sand

Responding to a Government report on the experiences of those claiming and receiving Carer’s Allowance which said that there was ‘room for improvement’ in preventing overpayments, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Thousands of carers are caught up in the overpayment scandal, and we’ve heard many heart-breaking stories about the fear and distress it is causing.

The Government cannot bury its head in the sand and pretend this is a minor issue. It is an outrageous national scandal and Ministers must act now: writing off old overpayments and reforming their flawed and failing system.

Scottish Liberal Democrat conference to call on Swinney to ditch SNP’s takeover of social care

At the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference in Hamilton this weekend, party members will vote on calls for the SNP government to scrap their planned takeover of social care and to invest money in improving conditions for staff and enhancing services instead.

Scottish Liberal Democrats will call on the government to:

  • Immediately dismantle, rather than simply delay, plans for the new National Care Service.
  • Give any money that was earmarked for the creation of a National Care Service directly to local authorities and health and social care partnerships so that it can be invested in front line care, including improving pay and conditions for staff.

Party leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

This white elephant takeover of social care would do nothing to tackle core problems and ease pressures. It would wrench away control of services from communities by putting it in the hands of government ministers, undermining the delivery of care across Scotland.

Care organisations, unions and local authorities have all united to condemn the bill. The financial memorandum is in disarray, with SNP Finance Committee members even having suggested that the sums don’t add up.

This ministerial takeover needs scrapped, not salvaged – that must be one of John Swinney’s first acts as First Minister.

Scottish Liberal Democrats stood up against this vast and unnecessary bureaucracy from day one. We will continue to do that because we know that if there is £1 billion to spend on a ministerial power grab, it should be going to support frontline services and staff instead.

Welsh Lib Dems call for foster carer salary

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to provide more support to foster carers in Wales as part of the adoption of the Step Up, Step Down scheme.

The scheme, which would see foster carers provide more support to families in crisis, aims to ensure that more children are able to safely remain at home rather than being placed in care.

According to the “Radical Reform Report”, foster care is the most common placement type for care experienced children. With 69.4% of children in care finding themselves in foster placements in 2022.

However social services have reportedly suffered from issues affecting the recruitment and retention of new foster carers.

An estimated 400 more foster families are needed in Wales to meet current demands according to a survey from the Fostering Network.

The same survey found that only 57% of carers feel treated as equals by children’s social workers. With concerns also being raised over a lack of consultation and a poor support network.

Speaking in the Siambr on Tuesday, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS urged the Welsh Government to recognise the important work done by foster carers.

The party Leader, who worked as a Child Protection Social Worker for 20 years before entering politics, also called on the Welsh Government to consider giving foster carers a salary.

Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

I am very pleased to see that the ‘Step Up, Step Down’ scheme is being considered here in Wales.

This is a truly transformational scheme which would relieve some of the pressures on our social services whilst at the same time prioritising children’s safety and well-being.

I am also glad to see that we will continue to harness the invaluable expertise of foster carers.

Foster carers provide an invaluable service to our society, they are the bedrock of which our social services are built upon. However I fear that their hard work and dedication is often overlooked.

This cannot continue, we must recognise the important work done by our foster carers whilst also ensuring that they are getting the right levels of support. Most importantly they must be salaried.

They should not be expected to not be paid when they don’t have children with them, which is the current situation. Would we expect the same when people take time off from work?

Cole-Hamilton urges First Minister to tackle rural healthcare crisis

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon during First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

The emergency care system collapsed on Skye last weekend.

Eilidh Beaton’s life-threatening anaphylactic shock happened virtually on the doorstep of Portree Hospital.

Five EpiPens administered to keep her alive, lifeboat volunteers hammering on the doors, her boyfriend literally threw rocks at the windows of the hospital- all because the doors were locked.

For six years the government has known about the Ritchie Report. Six years, and the doors were still locked.

Skye isn’t alone in the hollowing out of rural healthcare.

Just ask the mums who have to drive 100 miles down the treacherous A9 in labour because their local maternity unit in Caithness was closed.

The day before the emergency on Skye, I was in the Highlands. I called on the new First Minister directly, again, to get the Portree Hospital open for emergency care. We keep asking.

Why has it taken six years and a near fatality for his government to finally lift up the phone to NHS Highland about emergency care on Skye?

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This entry was posted in News, Press releases, Scotland and Wales.
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One Comment

  • Peter Msrtin 17th May '24 - 10:47am

    The impact of any recent mibi budget is only a minor factor in determining the level of intetest rates.

    Interest rates were increased by the BoE as a response to rising inflation following the Covid epidemic and the effects if the Ukraine war.

    All political parties are guilty of monetarist thinking. A more sensible Keynesian approach would have been to raise taxes so that the costs of recent economic problems were more equitably shared amongst the population.

    As it is they have been disproportionately heaped on young families who are trying to afford a place to live.

    Rents have risen sharply also.

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