Monday, 2 July 2012
Minister should come to Hyndburn himself if he thinks we are lucky to have this Government
I made the point to the Minister that the North West of England (and North East) has a rate of negative equity which is nearly 4 times as high as it is in London – and it is true of much of the south of England. (Standard and Poors report)
I then asked a simple question – what, if anything, is he doing about it?
His response amounted to little more than “it could be worse”. Well I think the Minister may be better served coming to Hyndburn to see how people are struggling and which I, the Accrington Observer and Lancashire Telegraph have highlighted. He then went on to say that negative equity only becomes a problem if you can’t afford your repayments. It's difficult to see how MPs would face such a problem and it smacks of an 'out of touch' government.
30% of people in Hyndburn are on the breadline – these are the very people for whom repayment is an issue, and precisely why Hyndburn has the 21st highest rate of home repossession in the UK.
This Government, and particularly the Department of Communities and Local Government are experts at providing fudged and misleading statistics to back up their policies. For a family where unemployment is present it can be punishing to try and make ends meet. To listen to Andrew Stunell (himself a North West MP) you would think these regions had never had it so good.
In Hyndburn around 167 homes are repossessed every year, and I am worried that this is a trend that will rise if this Government doesn’t get a hold of its housing policy and the economy.
Stunell said we should be grateful to have this Government because if we had the bond yields that they have in Greece, things would be a lot worse.
Negative equity is a housing issue but it is also a symptom of a lot of wider economic issues – if there are fewer jobs the housing market suffers and there is a downward spiral. This Government has delivered us a double-dip recession and mass unemployment.