Tag Archives: smi

Lloyd: Government must delay “horror” changes to mortgage support

Support for Mortgage Interest is a benefit given to people claiming Universal Credit or certain other income-related benefits who have a mortgage or who have taken out loans to make repairs to their home. It pays for the cost of interest on up to £200,000 of a person’s mortgage in order to prevent claimants from defaulting on their mortgage.

From next month, SMI will be replaced by a loan of the same value, which is repaid (with interest) when the property is sold.

It’s pretty cheap, as benefits go, costing the Government around £300 million a year. It is certainly about 3.5 times cheaper than letting someone’s home be repossessed and then having to pay housing benefit to put that household in the rented sector.

Apart from the whole principle being flawed, the implementation seems to have been botched as only around 10,000 of the eligible families have taken up the loan. Some people haven’t even been sent the information about it so that they can make an informed choice about whether to take the loan.

Our Work and Pensions spokesperson Stephen Lloyd said the whole thing was a horror and called for implementation to be delayed.

Every month we seem to be hearing yet more examples of this Conservative government being both mean-spirited and unintelligent; this mortgage interest benefit change is a classic example. It will force some homeowners into even more debt, and will force others to sell their homes putting themselves at the mercy (and cost) of their local council’s housing department. Which, naturally, will cost the taxpayer more in housing benefit than keeping them in their own house by paying mortgage interest payments. An absolutely ridiculous decision.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael 1 30th Mar - 1:07pm
    For those that don't subscribe to them, people may want to know there is a joint Never Mind the Bar Charts / Lib Dem podcast...
  • User AvatarRichard Flowers 30th Mar - 12:57pm
    Hopefully the Federal Board can and will revisit this decision in a month or so when we are all in a better position to see...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 30th Mar - 12:55pm
    Fair enough on seniors. a link to UK pollling would be interesting though. There's quite an interesting discussion from America's National Public Radio at https://www.npr.org/2016/02/06/465819152/times-have-changed-what-should-we-call-old-people...
  • User AvatarWilliam Francis 30th Mar - 12:43pm
    Absolutely agree!
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 30th Mar - 12:43pm
    Once again we see how far out of touch with real life those who run our party are. We need leadership NOW. Tory's have a...
  • User Avatarexpats 30th Mar - 12:41pm
    Absolutely agree with this thread...When the country returns to (nearly) normal we can announce that, 'We had a leadership election and xxxx is our new...