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Free up money to help struggling households – Veronica German AM

August 13, 2010 2:54 PM

Veronica German AM for South Wales East spoke today of the need for the Labour-Plaid Government to review the rules and the funding of their flagship mortgage rescue scheme following the news that parts of South Wales East have the highest number of mortgage repossession claims in Britain.

Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil are in the top four in the league table of mortgage repossessions, highlighting that this is still a major problem in Wales.

The £9 million mortgage rescue scheme put in place by the Welsh Government has exhausted its funding less than halfway through the financial year and although an additional £2 million has been found for it, the new rules that have been put in place mean that very few people will now be eligible for help.

The new criteria state that the applicant (or a member of the household) must have a disability and that their home must have been adapted before they can benefit from it. Yet, information from the Welsh Government reveals that only 16 of the 336 approved applications since 2008 would have met the new criteria leaving open the prospect of a huge underspend on the new money whilst families have their homes repossessed.

Veronica German said:

I think it is absolutely ludicrous that people in South East Wales are not able to get some desperately needed help because they do not qualify under these new, far too narrow, criteria

I dont doubt that people with adapted homes need support, but the reality is that this money will go unspent whilst struggling families all over South Wales East will not get the help they deserve.

The Labour-Plaid Government needs to address how the scheme operates and how much money is put into it. It is inexcusable for this £2 million to remain unspent whilst families are losing their homes.

This is an important scheme and it is completely wrong that is has to be frozen so early in the financial year when there is such need for it.