SNP WESTMINSTER leader Stephen Flynn has attacked “near-billionaire” Rishi Sunak over failing to help homeowners with rising mortgage costs, challenging him to say when he last struggled to pay a bill.

The SNP MP highlighted comments made by the Prime Minister that people should “hold their nerve” as interest rates on mortgages continued to rise, accusing him of “patronising the public”.

He said: “May I ask him, the near-billionaire, when was the last time he struggled to pay a bill?”

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Sunak responded that the “root cause” of rising mortgage rates was inflation, so the “right policy” is to tackle it and reduce it back to target.

“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,” he said.


“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.”

But Flynn said the Prime Minister’s answer confirmed he is “out of touch”, adding the Tory Party is soon to be “out of time”.

He said: “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?”

Sunak 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.

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“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.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer also highlighted mortgage costs as he attacked Sunak on housebuilding targets in England.

He asked the Prime Minister how the Conservatives can “ever look the British people in the eye again, and claim to be the party of homeownership”.

Starmer told the Commons: “You can tell from his answer … his body language, he has actually given up. He has given up.

"And his failure isn’t just shuttering the dream of those who desperately want to own their own home, it’s also hitting those who already have a mortgage.

“Because of their economic chaos, mortgage holders will be £2900 a year poorer. How can they ever look the British people in the eye again and claim to be the party of homeownership?”