28 June 2023

Flynn: Sunak patronised public with advice to ‘hold our nerve’ as mortgages rise

28 June 2023

The SNP has accused “near-billionaire” Rishi Sunak of “patronising” the public by asking them to “hold our nerve” as interest rates increase.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn asked Mr Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions when he last struggled to pay a bill.

Responding, Mr Sunak insisted inflation is the reason mortgage costs have risen, and said reducing it is the right policy.

The Prime Minister insisted at the weekend that there is “no alternative to stamping out inflation”, saying he wants people to be reassured that “we’ve got to hold our nerve, stick to the plan and we will get through this”.

Mr Flynn told the Commons on Wednesday: “On Sunday, the Prime Minister patronised the public when he told them that in the face of ever-increasing mortgage bills, that they simply need to ‘hold their nerve’.

“What a nerve. So may I ask him, the near-billionaire, when was the last time that he struggled to pay a bill?”

Mr Sunak replied: “The reason that mortgage rates are rising is because of inflation. That is the root cause, which is why it’s absolutely the right policy to tackle, halve inflation and reduce it back to target.

“Now, that does mean that we do have to make difficult decisions. It does mean we have to be patient while the impact of those decisions actually has an impact.

“But in the meantime… we are taking practical steps to support mortgage holders across the United Kingdom, particularly through the SMI (Support for Mortgage Interest) scheme and the new mortgage charter.”

Mr Flynn said: “This Prime Minister is out of touch, and the Tory Party is soon to be out of time.

“What the public really want is change.

“But in a week where the Conservative Party and indeed the Labour Party both refused to accept proposals for public sector pay rises whilst at the same time accepting the economic damage of Brexit, is it not the case that Westminster does not offer the people real change nor real hope for the future?”

The Prime Minister responded: “The honourable gentleman just exposes the complete economic illiteracy of the SNP position. His first question talks about the challenges posed on ordinary families by higher interest rates caused by higher inflation.

“What does his next question do? Support a policy that would increase Government borrowing and make the situation worse.

“It just demonstrates completely candidly why the SNP’s approach to economic management is simply not fit for anyone in the United Kingdom.”

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