Concern is mounting for an estimated 320,000-plus pensioner households in England who still paying off their homes. New polling shows that nearly eight out of 10 pensioners say they will blame the Government if their mortgage bills increase.
The English Housing Survey estimated that in 2020-21 there were around 5.1million owner-occupier households where the head of household was over 65 years old – and 320,000 pensioner households still had a mortgage.
In the latest sign that Prime Minister Liz Truss will face trouble at the ballot box if mortgage costs are pushed up, pollsters Savanta ComRes found that 78 percent of people aged 65-plus said “the Government’s budget will be to blame if mortgage bills increase in the coming months.
Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill fuelled expectations of an interest rate rise in November when he said last week that he expects a “significant” response will be needed to fight inflation.
The Liberal Democrats are urging Liz Truss to come forward with “an urgent plan to help mortgage borrowers on the brink”.
Sarah Olney, the party’s Treasury spokeswoman said: “Their botched budget will see thousands of pensioners hit with higher mortgage rates. The Government has seen mortgage rates go spiralling through the roof with no extra support for homeowners who are already bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis.”
She called on the Tories to “apologise to the thousands of pensioners across the country having to pay the price for the damage they have caused.”
Caroline Abrahams of the charity Age UK said: “High interest rates are pushing lots of older homeowners into financial difficulty as the cost of mortgages rise, which for people past their state pension age can be particularly problematic as they may be reliant upon the low income provided by the state pension. The cost-of-living crisis is hitting people of all ages and financial circumstances hard, and many are deeply anxious about how they’ll get through this winter.
“The Government needs to ensure that everyone is getting the support they need so that all older people can keep the roofs over their heads, put food on the table and heat their homes.”