9 February 2023 – today’s press releases

Unusually, there don’t appear to have been any yesterday, but the Liberal Democrat press team were back in action today. And so, without further ado…

  • Home repossessions rise after Liz Truss budget
  • A&E Stats: Patients are paying the price for Conservative mismanagement
  • Rishi Sunak playing ‘a reckless game’ with CO2 emissions as two more private flights confirmed

Home repossessions rise after Liz Truss budget

  • Mortgage repossessions by court bailiffs double as more people lose their homes in the cost of living crisis
  • Liberal Democrats call for Spring Budget to include help for families at risk of losing their homes

New figures out this morning from the Ministry of Justice show that mortgage claims, orders, warrants and repossessions have all increased in the three months to December 2022, following the Liz Truss mini-budget

Compared to the same quarter in 2021, mortgage possession claims are up 23%. Mortgage orders for possession are up 50%, warrants up 88% and repossessions by county court bailiffs have doubled, up 134%.

Today’s figures are the first since the disastrous Liz Truss mini-budget, which sent interest rates to their highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to include a fund in the Spring Budget to ensure homeowners do not lose their homes as a result of rising mortgage bills.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

The consequences of the mortgage ticking bomb set-off by Liz Truss are being felt hard by homeowners. It is shocking that Liz Truss has still refused to apologise for her economic vandalism which has crippled people with mortgage misery

People’s homes are on the line and still the Government refuses to act. Botched budgets and a complete failure to control inflation has led to this point.

Ministers must act now before any more families face the heartbreak of losing their homes.

The capital and South East have been hit hardest by the mortgage timebomb with bills rising by hundreds of pounds a month, yet still the Government refuses to act. Rishi Sunak is nowhere to be found on this. It is time he stepped in and introduced an emergency mortgage protection fund to stop people losing their homes.

A&E Stats: Patients are paying the price for Conservative mismanagement

Responding to the news that 42,700 A&E patients waited 12 hours from decision to admit to admission in January and that ambulance response times in January 2023 met none of their targets, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

Today’s statistics are yet another damning verdict of the Government’s management of the NHS.

Thousands are stuck waiting in A&E or in the backs of ambulances for hours on end, and even more are struggling to get the social care they need. The Conservatives have been running the NHS into the ground for years and patients are paying the price.

The Government needs to get a grip and fix our NHS and social care services. They can start by paying our carers a proper wage to stop the exodus of workers leaving for better paid work in supermarkets and warehouses.

Rishi Sunak playing ‘a reckless game’ with CO2 emissions as two more private flights confirmed

Responding to confirmation from No.10 that Rishi Sunak travelled from Dorset to London via helicopter on Wednesday evening, then from London to Cornwall by plane on Thursday morning, Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP said:

Surely it would have been more convenient for the Prime Minister to stay in Dorset overnight and head onwards to Cornwall in the morning? Instead Rishi Sunak chose to waste taxpayer money on expensive private helicopters and jets.

Since taking on the Premiership, Sunak has played a reckless game with CO2 emissions and rendered any green targets pledged by his Government as laughable.

He should not be above using trains to get to and from his commitments, this is just more proof that Sunak is totally out of touch and taking voters for granted.

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12 Comments

  • Peter Martin 10th Feb '23 - 3:58am

    Liz Truss certainly makes a good pantomime villain for everyone to the left of her politically, which is most of us.

    However, we don’t have to know that much about economics to also know that if mortgages are becoming more unaffordable then rising interest rates are the main problem. Rates are rising everywhere including the EU and the USA. It doesn’t make any sense to blame Liz Truss for those, especially as UK rates have lagged behind US rates.

    If we want to blame politicians, which we certainly should, it is for not taking control of monetary policy themselves. Handing over all reponsibility to a central bank to maintain a level of inflation of 2% didn’t make much sense at the best of times.

    It makes even less sense now. What else can a CB do other than raise rates? How does increasing everyone’s bills help reduce inflation, when the causes of the inflation are largely outside of domestic control?

  • Adrian Bagehot 10th Feb '23 - 4:13am

    Westminster Parliament Special Election February 9th, 2023 in West Lancashire in the Palatine County of Lancashire.

    Turnout was only 22,639 , 31.4% of electorate (-40.7% from December 2019)

    Reform: 994 (+0.1% from December 2019)

    Liberal Democrat: 918 (-0.8% from December 2019)

    If the Reform Party are getting more votes than the Liberal Democrats in a Special Election with a large swing against the Conservative and Unionist Party, does that not signify something is going severely wrong?

    Votes for LD in 2019 was 2560, now 918, so 1642 fewer, a reduction of 64.14% compared to turnout reduction of 40.7%)

    Votes for Brexit Party in 2019 was 2,275, now 997 for Reform, so 1284 fewer, a reduction of 56.18% compared to turnout reduction of 40.7%)

    Thus LD lost more votes than the Reform Party, both in absolute number and as a percentage of previous number of votes.

    Were Liberal Democrat voters in West Lancashire even less motivated to go out and vote than Reform Party voters? If so why?

  • Adrian Bagehot 10th Feb '23 - 4:29am

    Forgot to mention that in the 2019 Westminster Parliament General Election in West Lancashire, even though that was the “Get Brexit Done” election that gave the 80 seat majority to the Conservative and Unionist Party, there was a -1.1% swing against the Conservative and Unionist Party, a –6.8% swing against the Labour Party, but for the STOP BREXIT manifesto LD Party there was a +2.9% swing in favour.

    So the argument that a do not talk about Brexit stance so as not to lose votes strategy for the 2023 Special has resulted in an overall negative performance with a change from +2.9% swing to a -1.1% swing.

  • Adrian, you are right to mention the keep quiet about Brexit policy. Many of us disagree with the party’s position on this. However, I assume our poor showing in the West Lancashire by election was due to us not fighting it, and wanting to make sure Labour defeated the Conservatives.

  • Sarah was right to blame the disastrous Truss experiment for at least part of the mortgage interest rate rise. Her re-emergence, with the trademark smirk, and the regurgitated message ‘I was right but the rest of the world lacked my brilliant understanding of economics’ was widely panned, but will have been liked by some Tory voters. The danger she represents is not that she could steal votes from us, but that some Tory voters planning to stay at home might decide to vote Conservative after all.

  • Peter Davies 10th Feb '23 - 8:58am

    “I assume our poor showing in the West Lancashire by election was due to us not fighting it, and wanting to make sure Labour defeated the Conservatives.” As if our fighting it would have made any difference to that. If we’d taken enough votes off Labour for them to lose, it would have been to us not the Tories. I think our not fighting it is largely down to our being broke. A limited campaign to develop the local party might have saved our deposit and payed for itself.

  • George Thomas 10th Feb '23 - 10:24am

    Going after Liz Truss so much is bit like Sgt Catherine Cawood calling it a day after arresting Faisal. Liz Truss might have set the bomb off earlier than expected but she didn’t bring the bomb to the table or start the timer.

    Rishi Sunak choosing private planes shows how little he thinks about climate emergency, the biggest crisis of the next generation, and how little he thinks of our public transport networks. Tax private plane use within the UK and use funds raised to vastly improve and future proof (existing trains struggle in very wet and very hot conditions – conditions we’re more likely to experience going forward) train and bus networks.

  • Back at the time of the double General Elections in 1974 I resided within the old Ormskirk seat which in a way copied the present West Lancashire one in as much as it split between relatively affluent areas around Ormskirk itself and then Kirkby with its ream of Council estates being replaced now by Skelmersdale. There had been no Liberal candidate for ages yet from a standing start four weeks before the first election we polled 16 and 11 per cent respectively, forming branches along the way.. The votes are there if we work for them, the word “WORK” is the operative one.
    We will not be a National party other than in name unless we change our attitude to these type of contests. In the Knowsley by election of the early 2000’s we polled over 30%, Rosie was our candidate if I recall!!! Things were going so well that we tried in Parliament to get the by election delayed for a week to give us more time to win, of course that did not happen, but it all goes to show what is possible if we make it possible, something we are patently not doing at present.
    On a brighter note the 22 seat forecast does not apparently take tactical voting into account! That may well offer us in the region of 40. However West Lancashire and the many seats like it will just be more lost deposits. To those of us who were involved in the lengthy build up of the party to over 60 Parliamentary seats it is all very sad.

  • Peter Hirst 15th Feb '23 - 2:02pm

    There is a glaring lack of understanding amongst the government of the imminent climate catastrophe that awaits us or our descendents if it doesn’t tackle climate change. Politicians should show an awareness of this in all their actions. How can they expect individuals to alter their habits if ministers show a disregard for the impact of their public activities on carbon emissions?

  • Peter Watson 15th Feb '23 - 4:58pm

    “Rishi Sunak playing ‘a reckless game’ with CO2 emissions as two more private flights confirmed”
    Did the party or Ed Davey rebut this one last year: https://libdemwatch.org/f/daveys-donation-hypocrisy-over-private-jet-flights

  • Peter Hirst 15th Feb ’23 – 2:02pm:
    There is a glaring lack of understanding amongst the government of the imminent climate catastrophe that awaits us or our descendents if it doesn’t tackle climate change.

    Cheer up! It’s getting colder…

    ‘Northern Hemisphere Snow Mass Tracks Above 1982-2012 Average, As It Has Done For The Past 7 Years’ [15th. February 2023]:
    https://electroverse.co/northern-hemisphere-snow-mass-tracks-above-1982-2012-average-as-it-has-done-for-the-past-7-years/

    Data from the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) reveal that Total Snow Mass for the Northern Hemisphere has comfortably held above 1982-2012 average ALL season and is now also punching above the standard deviation.

  • @Peter Hirst – “There is a glaring lack of understanding amongst the government of the imminent climate catastrophe that awaits us or our descendents if it doesn’t tackle climate change.”

    Things might be a little more imminent, with credible sources forecasting at current rates of thawing we will see large amounts of methane, currently locked away by permafrost, being released directly into the atmosphere. Obviously, these forecasts take account of the data Jeff alludes to but more importantly current trend-based climate models, which everyone are working with, don’t…

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