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Smart, this was a huge announcement, even if he was being barracked whilst making it in the commons. It wasnt in the Queens speech and was a surprise. It is a massive scheme and it should make for big headlines.

Who pays ?

I should add this is all about getting past the next general election.

The more of this we have - the more likely Labour will have to beg the IMF to bail us out.

Man in a Shed, you are spot on. A good indicator that Brown will cling on until May 2010.

The headline is very misleading! The proposal is to defer part of the interest payments, which I assume will simply be added to the loan (perhaps extending the term too if they are sensible) so no taxpayers should be hurt in the process.

It will just give people a bit of breathing space, and I bet will help many people who have lost their jobs and don't want to lose their home before they get themselves straight again.

A very sensible idea that I of course have been calling for the tories to adopt here on several occasions.

Man in a Shed is, of course, correct. This is a brilliant political move but disastrous for the economy.

I think we may have Gordon Brown as PM for ever and ever… or until our country finally slips out of sight between the waves.

This is not much use. What about the millions who are struggling to pay their existing mortgage, even though they have a job?

This is Mandelsonian spin at its worst.

BBC 5 o'clock news is disasterous.

It has Cameron talking about a bureaucratic goverment doing nothing and running out of ideas - and then Brown announcing he is going to guarantee people's mortgages.

Say what you want about Brown, but he is playing this crisis and leaving the opposition in his wake.

Brown talked about delaying INTEREST payments not a mortgage holiday as such. Let's wait and see the small print before jumping to conclusions.

The SNP’s Westminster leader has branded the Queen’s Speech as light on the economy and hard on Scotland.

Angus Robertson MP hit out at the address, which lays out the Westminster legislative agenda for 2009, criticising the UK Government’s three-fold failure to protect Scotland. The agenda failed to give priority to protecting Scotland’s economy, failed to rule out planned cuts to the Scottish Government’s budget, and failed to release £1bn of Scottish resources being withheld by the Treasury.

Mr Robertson said, "Despite the eleventh-hour re-writes there were no surprises in the Queen’s Speech – just another anti-climax and a missed opportunity for Scotland.

"Labour’s leaks and trailers said the speech would focus on the economy – but what it did not mention is Gordon Brown’s plan to slash the Scottish budget by £1 billion, or why the Treasury is still withholding another £1bn of Scottish resources.

"It would be madness to cut the Scottish budget at a time when we hope to be emerging from recession and while the Scottish Government is making every effort to keep the economy moving forward.

"There is no priority in Labour’s plans for protecting Scotland’s economy – and we should be in a position during these difficult times to use Scotland's resources much more fully. There is no priority for helping the most vulnerable and low paid in these challenging economic times.

"With a record £13.2 billion North Sea revenues this year – and oil due to generate £55 billion of income in the coming six years, compared to £41 billion during the previous six – Scotland will be in absolute budget surplus, while the UK as a whole plunges deeper into deficit.

"In these circumstances, Labour’s planned cuts in the Scottish budget intensify the need for Scotland’s Parliament to be responsible for all tax and spending decisions. They are powerful arguments for independence. After the irresponsibility of Gordon Brown's economic mismanagement what Scotland needs is an age of responsibility.

"If Gordon Brown really wants to make efficiency savings, he should start by scrapping Trident and ditching plans for unwanted ID cards.

"At this time of economic downturn and substantial pressure on government spending, it is utterly irresponsible to waste billions on a new generation of unnecessary weapons of mass destruction, and unwanted and unneeded ID cards.

"The Prime Minister should also bring forward a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Apart from appalling human cost of the UK Government’s worst foreign policy decision in recent times, the economic consequences have also been hugely wasteful."


The Pre-Budget Report revealed plans to cut the Scottish Government’s Budget by some £1 billion over the period 2010/11 to 2011/12.

If applied equally across UK Departmental Expenditure Limit budgets, the £5 billion cuts proposed by the UK Government in each of these two years would cut Scotland’s budget by £380 million a year. In addition, the reduction of the health department’s capital budget in England of £1.4 billion in 2010/11 would cause a recurring cut in the Scottish Government’s capital budget of some £125 million


Will the Tories have the guts to oppose this scheme? It is a nasty attack on prudent savers and shareholders who will pay for it. It will also destroy the mortgage protection insurance market.

"It is a nasty attack on prudent savers and shareholders who will pay for it."

How exactly? If it just gets added to the loan, then it just means that the borrower will take a little longer to pay back the loan. That will mean *more* interest for the banks not less.

A lot better than repossessing them, selling the house in a despressed market and thus making the person's debt worse, then the State having to house them.

If the intention is that the interest is added to the loan and repaid in due course, then I withdraw my previous comment and agree with GB£ that it is a sensible policy.

However, this recession may well last longer than a couple of years.

Delaying interest payments. They will still have to be payed back. What's sad is the fact we are in the situation where measures like this are needed in the first place. And none of this will get the housing market moving again. So you have not only just lost your job, you will be paying longer to pay for the delayed interest on a house that is probably already in negative equity with no prospect of ever moving on as you will never find a buyer as they will never get a loan. It is a depressing situation.

If it is as GB£.com @ 1705 says then it seems a reasonable proposal on the surface, rehousing families in B&B's whilst waiting for social accommodation costs local councils a fortune, likewise paying private rentals to private landlords costs a fortune.

Would this apply to those taking voluntary redundancy I wonder, and would the redundancy payment be taken into account first before the partial interest payment holiday?

The Prime Minister is treating people as fools again.

If the government does implement it properly (no guarantees with this shambles), but limits it to those who have lost their jobs only, the Tories could seize the opportunity to propose extending it to all struggling homeowners who would like the chance to temporarily reduce their payments.

The suggestion that this will cost only £100m and only £1bn is the contingent liability is, frankly, laughable. There will be something like 0.5m homes repossessed over the next few years (there were about 330k repossessed in the early 1990s). Setting aside those that fall behind without repossession and those encouraged to fall behind by the measure itself, if we focus only on these 0.5m, that implies the government will lose an average of just £200 - say, five days' mortgage payment - for each repossession!!

The government continues to dwell in a fantasy land on the economy. A dangerous fantasy land.

Payment protection insurance covers mortgage repayments for those who have lost their job.
Should people stop paying their premiums?

Posted by: Omar Kader | December 03, 2008 at 17:21

I shouldn't worry me old fruit, most of the proposed legislation does not apply to the ye olde 'yae cannae tek ma freedom' theme park.

Otherwise known as Disnae Land: It disnae work and it disnae matter:

Queen's Speech programme:

Business Rates Supplements Bill
England and Wales.

Children, Skills and Learning Bill
Mostly applying to England

Coroners and Justice Bill
The bill applies to England and Wales, with some elements extending to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Health Bill
Mostly applying to England only

Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill
This bill applies mainly to England

Marine and Coastal Access Bill
Gives people the right to walk around the English coast, with Wales making its own arrangement. Does not extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Policing and Crime Bill

This bill applies to England and Wales, with some elements extending to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Seems that you already have your interdependence, sorry, independence.

Does the Queen outline the SNP legislative programme at Holyrood?

Bringing back Mandelson is really paying off.

I reckon they are a cinch for a fourth term.

Andrew - Hi, I genuinely don't understand...

Will the government be paying the portion of the interest that the homeowner isn't paying to the bank? None of the capital will be being repaid surely?

Isn't there a cost to the state to re-house them either in a B&B or a private rental home (picking up the tab for the rent) to offset in your calculation.


Clearly many banks are happy for people to take temporary payment holidays - indeed, a number of mortgage companies used to advertise precisely this as part of their "flexibility". Furthermore, most banks would presumably accept this as an alternative to repossession (which involves losses of 20, maybe 30% of the value of the property in the process).

So in that sense the government is pushing at an open door - banks will do this anyway. But the costs will be vastly greater than the figure suggested, and could be very difficult to contain.

Incidentally, the cash-flow implications of this for banks should not be ignored - banks are not cash-rich at the moment, and repossession does at least get some money back on loans as compared to waiting two years for default and then claiming back from HMG.

"Bringing back Mandelson is really paying off. I reckon they are a cinch for a fourth term."

The national debt is going up and up and up which will only lead to more misery later - they are treating people as fools, and putting party before country.
That is the message we should put forward. God help us if this shower get in again and we are all forced into paying for an ID card on pain of a £1000 fine.

Deborah @ 17:58

Thats pretty much how I read it. The taxpayer is effectively picking up the 'payment protection' bill for everyone.

People can already buy it if they want to, if they choose not to I don't really see that I should pay it for them - I have my own 'crunch' issues to pay for...

A few observations on this and I'm sure it will relieve a little of the concern most people have.

I note that George Osborne response was basically of course we don't want people losing their homes but we need to look at the details - Fair enough.

A few things occur to me:

1) This apparently applies to the Big 8 Banks covering 70% of mortgages. It does not apparently apply to those companies who advertised copiously in the last 10 years and who provided mortgages for many of the most financially challenged people.

Consequently, it does not seem to address those families who would seem to be most vulnerable. The question is then in reality how often will these arrangements be required?

Unless of course Brown invisages massive levels of unemployment in the next 12 months or so.

2) This is a £1 billion programme (allegedly) when our total mortgages equate to £1.2 trilllion. So it's potentialy a drop in the ocean. It is possibly more sound-byte/ headline material than substantive policy.

3) All it reportedly does it put back the problem for two years in the hope that the economy will pick up. If it doesn't then the next Government will have to pick up the pieces. Seems to me Brown is hedging his bets and leaving a potential timebomb for the next government to pick up.

Again details are sparse so I won't write it off as a bad idea out of hand, but given Brown's record of stealth and slight of hand I am deeply suspicious.......

How are the millions who rent their accommodation supposed to feel about yet more taxpayers money helping property owners?

All it reportedly does it put back the problem for two years in the hope that the economy will pick up.

If it came to a year then I would expect you should use the buffer as time to sell up and downgrade yourself before the bank forces you to.
For labour this would go on the house sales stats which are too low now, and not count on the repossessions.


I agree but have you seen the housing market lately?

Unless there is demand out there it doesn't matter.

The problem is that there is no uniformity of action between lenders. For most repossession is a last resort particularly in a falling market. For others it is not and people here have my deepest sympathy. One size doesn't fit all and this scheme will help the feckless as well as the unfortunate.
If the economy is still in doldrums in two years,what then?

What happens to all those people who pay for mortgage protection?

I don't think Her Majesty thinks much of Her government.
She very skilfully and famously makes her feelings known through her body language and facial expression - which spoke volumes.
Great Britain is becoming a mere shadow of what it once was.

Well if you take the apolitical view for a moment, at least we will soon know what the best response to a downturn is.

The Tories in the early 90s basically did nothing, kept interest rates high, raised VAT to compensate for falling income tax and allowed houses to be repossesed.

This governemt is cutting interest rates, cutting VAT and intervening to let people keep their homes.

We'll soon know who is right......

Sounds like a great idea, I first thought- I'll stop paying my mortgage for two years and use the money to pay some bills, save for my wedding, put down on another property etc.. Then comes the small print.

We need to examine carefully the implications of this. I suspect there are loads of hidden problems the government have conveniently forgotten to tell us about.

I have just watched the sky anchor say that the banks sky have telephoned know little about this announcement but will take a view when they get more details.

A little more confusion after watching news 24. I thought that this 'payment holiday' would be just for single property owning families to avoid repossession/rehousing/homelessness, a couple of chaps were interviewed from an estate agency who seemed to suggest that this would let buy-to-let landlords off the hook for a couple of years - now that I don't support unless Brown is suggesting giving every business a two year interest free loan (no, thought not!)

I resent the underhand way in which this policy was effectively introduced into the Queen’s Speech outside of the official text. It was pure politics by Brown, designed to prevent the Opposition preparing a response in advance.

Having said that, on first sight I quite like the policy.

British GDP has contracted by 0.5%. For most businesses, such small variation in turnover would hardly register. We see far greater variations in turnover as a day to day fact of life. So why, on a macro scale, does 0.5% have such a devastating impact upon the economy? The answer is simple: fear, uncertainty and the vicious circle that ensues.

One of the greatest fears in a recession is that of losing your house. If we can relax our economic sphincters, and this policy appears to help us do that, money can start circulating again and we will all benefit. That's why I like what I hope this policy will be.

For those moaning about debt insurance, two questions:
1. did you read your policy's small print?
2. would you object to this policy if it was the cheapest option for the taxpayer?

this would let buy-to-let landlords off the hook for a couple of years

Isn't that a good thing.

It's one thing to be kicked out of your own house because you've not got enough money.

It's even worse to be kicked out of your home because your landlord hasn't enough.

Gordons "rabbit from his hat" seems to ignore an important element which is detailed agreement with the banks.
Reports this evening, from the banks themselves, suggest firm agreement has not been reached.
Is this headline chasing again?

A brilliant, solidly center left move, but let's see the small print.

I must defend truth wherever I find it.

Firstly, Gordon Brown misquoted John Redwood yesterday at the dispatch box when suggesting that JR advocated that Britain needs to "lower its living standards". John Redwood has said no such thing so his report to parliament will no doubt be quite rightly followed by a point of order from John Redwood at the next available opportunity.

Tory MP Damian Green was subjected to a "police raid" at his home and offices on the back of a "suspicion" by police on matters they found relevant to a "possible" breach of national security yet are unable to produce ANY real grounds to actually make that allegation stick. Furthermore, they act without a warrant ( which I happened to point out prior to Mr Speaker declaring it ), and they fail to inform The Sergeant at Arms an the Palace of Westminster that they have no warrant or that she can refuse to permit the police to enter Mr Green's office's.

But if that isn't all, the best was yesterday evening following Gordon Brown having made a speech which showed intention to help homeowners.

This is what I heard Gordon Brown saying which was later backed up and confirmed by Margaret Becket :-

The government has agreed that homeowners facing repossession through redundancy or a drop in income can defer a portion of their interest payments for up to two years. He also said that 8 lenders had already signed up to it and that he expected to provide full details to the house soon. ( Today wasn't the time as this was the Queen's speech ).

Shortly after his speech, bulletins ran across SKY and the BBC as they each vied to get the news out as quickly as possible and to beat the other to viewing figures.

The BBC asked Robert "Pest"on "So that means any homeowner can simply defer their mortgage payments for two years" ??? "It appears so, yes" He replied.

They have misled the public and that is not what Gordon Brown said !

I switched to SKY.
They had an estate agent and a property rental agent in the street and the estate agent welcomed the package but the property agent said this would help his "Buy to Let customers who were struggling" with their mortgages.

Firstly, the package Brown described will not apply to property speculators it will apply to homeowners. That is what Gordon Brown said.

Secondly, it will not apply to "all homeowners" as the BBC and SKY have said, but it will apply to "some" ( who are facing repossession through redundancy or a drop in income and to a limit of £400,000 ), NOT to Buy to Let owners who do not make those properties their "home".

I have to also say that shortly after these "false reports" were given, that both channels sought to dismantle Gordon Brown's plans by describing them as being "no good in detail", after having falsely reported the detail Gordon Brown I have to say, had clearly and adequately described as applying to "homeowners" - "facing repossession", and that "part" of their interest "could" be deferred.

The truth is a mystery to these people I feel.

This is an extract from the post Brown was referring to and it clearly and unambiguously puts the blame on government for ITS POLICIES bringing living standards down in Britain.

The truth is that both the UK and the US are following policies which will force a cut in living standards. For years both these economies have been living well beyond their means, thanks to easy access to credit from the strong exporting nations and commodity producers who were generating big surpluses. It has been possible for both the great Anglo Saxon democracies to run large balance of payments deficits, large government deficits and large deficits in the personal sector. People and governments have spent too much and borrowed to do so.

Now the world’s markets are saying enough is enough. Living standards in both the public and private sector are being brought down by a combination of government policy and market reaction. The private sector has to sell more abroad and consume less at home. The government sector has to get closer to just spending what it can collect in taxes.

The announcement of a Homeowner package yesterday by Gordon Brown is very welcome and I think he's actually got this right.

Because taxpayers have shares in many banks now, Gordon Brown has exerted a small amount of influence, on behalf of the taxpayers who are shareholders, to the banks rules on repossessions.

Northern Rock and RBS for instance both moved their repossession rules to not seek repossession until 6 months instead of 2 months, which has been the case for as long as I can remember.

When a lender seeks a repossession order they often incur legal costs and are left with a property which achieves less value through auction, and this is what Margaret Beckett was referring to yesterday when she said it costs a lender £35,000 on average when they repossess a home.

In some cases a lender will have a Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee in place on the loan which can cover part of its loss if for instance achieving a sale of 60% of the property value on a property which has a 90% loan against it. In that case, without a "MIG", the lender would lose 30% of the loan value so it often has a MIG to "compensate it for the difference", and the cost of that will have often formed part of the actual mortgage itself.

The government ( if I heard Gordon Brown correctly ), will offer to guarantee the part interest which a lender has offered to defer for a borrower who faces repossession.

The 6 month forestalling of repossession rules means that lenders won't be hurriedly queuing at the Treasury door for taxpayers money and furthermore if deferring interest for 2 years then any liability falling under the governments homeowner guarantee would not become liable until 2011. ( i.e. After the next general election and quite likely in the midst of a Tory government ).

At that time, the government will likely be met with invoices from lenders which have 'sold' the property and made a loss, but only to the amount of interest which was 'deferred' under the government scheme.

The government has made taxpayers liable for 'some' of that interest, not for all of it, and it remains to be seen whether the country is through a recession by 2011 and also which party will be the government at that time.

However regardless of which government is in power and regardless of whether or not we are still in recession, it remains likely that there will always be some repossessions and it therefore remains likely that we will be paying for it.

I note the government in buying preferential shares in banks have an agreement that we receive a dividend of 12%. That 'profit' I guess will be sufficient enough to cover the cost of the homeowner rescue package, but I doubt it will rescue Labour at the election as the media will completely distort public perception as to what it is he tried to achieve.

How about owners of small businesses who go under during the recession? Equally what about people who rent?

rugfish, I believe a homeowner doesn't qualify if they have £16,000 or more in savings - is that correct?

It is also a bit rich for Cameron to be demanding to know the % interest deferral when his own,imho, ropey loan insurance scheme, highlighted the critical importance of banks carrying some of the risk of the loans, but totally failed to mention what this % should be.

How can we assess the risk of his proposal without the detail? But I guess, like the announcement about spending less than Labour just before the PBR, this latest proposal is just as likely to be quietly dropped a week later.

I'm sorry to be so critical, I am just unsure if we have all been simply unlucky to have the existence of such a rotten goverment and low-quality Opposition coincide, or whether it reflects a general malaise in the quality of the current generation of politicians as a whole.

rugfish @ 04:38

If that is the piece that brown was referring to then maybe the tories should be working to undermine the publics confidence in browns use of the word 'cut'.

I think it is commonly accepted that labour are entirely unreliable in their 'wording' of statements -- never quite meaning what everyone thinks they mean.

But for brown to suggest that 'starting to live within your means' is a bad thing because it is represents a 'cut in living standards' should be pretty easy to ridicule...

Norm Brainer | December 03, 2008 at 20:53
If you're a tenant you have legal rights to stay in the property, your landlord (the owner of the property) may change i.e. from a private landlord to the bank or housing association if they buy it cheap, but your rights to remain in the property exist.

Protecting a private landlord is in effect subsidising one whole business sector. If these flats etc are vacant then releasing them back into the market to allow our young couples to get on the housing ladder isn't a bad thing surely.

But I guess, like the announcement about spending less than Labour just before the PBR, this latest proposal is just as likely to be quietly dropped a week later.

This wasn't dropped so much as it failed to make sense.
They said they would spend less than labour planned to, but then labour said they would spend less than they had planned to.
Labour's is just a made-up figure anyway more than likely so to compare in any way to theirs now is allowing labour to set the rules of engagement and gives them an undeserved importance.
Best to just ignore them really.

When the Conservatives have worked out their spending plans then they'll come out with a figure. other people can the compare it to other parties but the only guarantee is that it will be lower than labour had originally planned (which is what the Consevatives had also planned as they copied)

"This wasn't dropped so much as it failed to make sense."

Then why jump in and announce it with such a fanfare as the defining difference between the two parties just days before the PBR?

Labour has been allowed to derail the Tories flagship "sharing the proceeds of growth" strategy. Hardly smart politics from the Tories.

The Labour figures probably are made up, but the point is that Cameron presented them with an open goal.

If Cameron had delayed his press conference until after the PBR, Labour may not have included the tight spending figures, and Cameron's key policy would have been intact, not in tatters.

If you're a tenant you have legal rights to stay in the property,

Until your contract runs out - and most have a clause that they can decide to kick you out after 6months with a month or two notice.

There's real people at the heart of every house whether it be rented or bought, unless as a holiday/second home etc.

Why should I give up my home for a young couple to invest in property?
..and why shouldn't someone who can no longer afford their mortgage be allowed to stay in their home when they could be repossessed and sell to this lovely young couple of which you speak.
It's rewarding bad decisions.

Then why jump in and announce it with such a fanfare as the defining difference between the two parties just days before the PBR?

I thought the fanfare was that they were no longer going to be bound by labour spending plans.
So it had to be announced before the PBR, possibly expecting a rise, to allow them to make crititisms, otherwise they would just get the response "well you've said you will stick to it"
Labour saw that it went well that conservatives were going to spend lower and so made up an even lower number for the PBR.

rugfish, I believe a homeowner doesn't qualify if they have £16,000 or more in savings - is that correct?

Posted by: Sally Roberts | December 04, 2008 at 07:57

That's what Margaret Beckett said yesterday Sally and it fits in with the norm for state assistance under the 'means test' which permits that amount in savings.


With property the 'loss' is only realised as the difference between price reached in auction and the outstanding loan amount ( including all expenses ).

The 'portion' of loss or cost to taxpayers, would only be in relation to a 'portion of interest' on the loan itself and not a portion of the 'actual loss a lender would incur'.

This is quite a 'limited liability' and one which can easily be placed into a fiscal budget 2 years hence if you consider that the government would know the 'actual risk it was engaging in' 2 years prior and would ( through CML figures ), be warned of even the potential of a cost, 6 months prior to actually seeing the start of the project due to lenders forestalling the engagement themselves of the Homeowner Support package by meeting the rule of no repo's until 6 months have lapsed.

It's a very slick bailout which doesn't impact on the taxpayer until either the Tories are in the treasury, the recession is over or they've found some savings elsewhere, but more than that, because it knows 6 months before it's due to start the extent of risk it could incur, it gives the government time to pull the plug on the deal altogether.

Slimey Politics at its best I'd say.

So we now do not know if the Tories agree with Labour's figures, think they should be lower, or even think they are too low, and could propose more.

We simply do not know what the Conservatives think about this as once again, face with a challenge, they have gone to ground.

I want the Tories to aim lower, but how can you vote for them if they won't tell you?

It's a trap! Tories will scream again. Of course it is a trap! I say. The Tories should be boldly springing them, not meakly sidestepping them.

If you follow the sidestep approach, by the time we get close to the election, Labour would have left enough traps to cover just about every major policy area, rendering the Cameroons mute and too late for the manifesto to gain any real traction.

But for brown to suggest that 'starting to live within your means' is a bad thing because it is represents a 'cut in living standards' should be pretty easy to ridicule...

Posted by: pp | December 04, 2008 at 08:13

The trouble is, is the public are not all watching PMQ's and reading papers, so the inaccurate mention of JR's post will have hit a nerve and then when JR looks to put it right he'll look as though he's being 'picky' and off topic. It was an obvious goading by GB to JR in my opinion because his post is completely clear to read and it is nothing like what GB said.

Posted by: GB£.com | December 04, 2008 at 08:00

I think Brown thinks he's outflanked us on this, but the fact is, it is 'impossible' for him to say how much it will cost the taxpayer, impossible to budget for except in 2010 / 11 which will mean 'cuts' or tax hikes, and it also does NOT put money INTO the economy at a time it is needed.

Furthermore, whilst I personally welcome this initiative despite the above, I think if Brown is lauding it as a 'stimulus to the economy' then someone should ask him how ? Clearly it is NOT stimulating ANYTHING whereas a loan guarantee WOULD.

How ( knowing the cost is unknown ), can you call this 'prudent judgment' ???

As I say, he THINKS he's outflanked us but there are a 100 and one areas he's left wide open politically despite his slimey attempt to poke the flames of public opinion over to John Redwood.

I'm beginning to enjoy politics again !!! lololol

I want to read the detail before I rush to judgment. Man in a Shed asks who pays?
I suspect that the homeowner does, as this is not a letting off of the debt in any way.
It could be good for the Banks as it will hold the house values up for two years. What’s we really don't need right now is a glut of houses having to be sold. It beggars the question of do these people have a priority for help getting back to work?
A person who finds themselves without work and so without a decent income, should be given at least the same protection as those who have been unemployed for a while. The easiest people to get back into work are those who have recently left it, but we will find that unemployment is going to be stubborn and persistent in a growing numbers of people’s lives. At least in the short term unemployment is going to rise into the millions. The Government prices this measure at 1 billion, so clearly little real relief is coming. Those who loose their job, better hope that they can get back into work inside the two years cut off. The longer a person is unemployed the longer that person will have to work to pay off the debt. This measure will have a cost in the short term to the bankers and other dependants of the loan, but it is only a matter of deferment its not a get out clause or any sort of reduction in the loan or the interest on the loan. As it is right now the interest on the loan isn’t or more should not be adding to much of a burden to future payments as interest rates are low and will fall lower still. Of course this cycle will lead to a false boom and then interest rates will have to be raised up quickly. I will reserve judgment until I read what the government mean.

"It is a nasty attack on prudent savers and shareholders who will pay for it."

This really is the case. I suppose it’s a failing of Labour in general but they have no respect for the hard working hard saving minority. It makes my blood boil every time they announce a fall in interest rates like its good news. I am currently over £200.00 pm worse off and this is set to rise as interest rates fall. Banks that don’t pass on all of the rate cut are pilloried as being somehow greedy. Is it greedy to save all of your life so that you can enjoy a few years of relative grace in your twilight. Its seems that this government has abandoned prudence, and is looking around for any pot of money they have not already stolen from to prop up the state. They have robbed most of the younger people of year’s worth of pension savings and now they are robbing pensioners for daring to save like responsible citizens. Of course I want Britain to prosper but borrowing your way out of trouble is not the answer. Brown and his loony pinko friends must go and soon.

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