A round-up of parliamentary business during the week beginning 7 April:
Speaking at our annual lunch last Friday 4th, the former financial secretary to the Treaury Sajid Javid acknowledged the huge amount of work needed for the introduction of the mortgage market review at the end of the month, and thanked the industry for its support and cooperation with help to buy and other schemes. He reassured the us that the Treasury’s approach to implementing the EU mortgage directive will be to minimise disruption as much as possible. The minister also acknowledge that government will need to consider the best way of exiting help to buy: mortgage guarantee, but while he referred to there being “mechanisms to adjust the scheme parameters” he didn’t enlighten us further on what those might be.
This week, following the resignation of Maria Miller, Mr Sajid was been moved into her position of culture secretary. Within the Treasury, Nicky Morgan has been promoted from economic secretary to financial secretary. Ex-banker Andrea Leadsom has been given the economic secretary position, covering the financial services brief, and will now be our key ministerial contact within the department.
The Water Bill passed its third reading in the Lords on Tuesday. There was some debate on Flood Re and whether the government would review the scheme on a five-yearly, annual or rolling basis. The minister said he expected regular reviews to take place at least every five years. He explained the second legislation would set out in more detail the Flood Re transition plan, and that the insurance industry and policy holders needed to have some degree of certainty about its operation and that Flood Re need to plan for transition accordingly. He went on to say that annual reviews would be resource intensive and was not clear that this added value, but added that ongoing monitoring would enable the government to identify trends and any potential issues in the market, including in the leasehold sector. The Bill now enters the ‘ping pong’ stage between both Houses until a final text is agreed and royal assent can be given.
The DWP estimates that approximately 5% of pensioner households are likely to be paying a mortgage, according to pensions minister Steve Webb in answer to a written question this week. Subjects covered by other parliamentary questions this week included reform of the private rented sector, take-up of help to buy, support for self build, and the Land Registry service deliver company consultation.
An in the House of Lord the dreaded Japanese knotweed was the subject of an oral question. When asked about people being refused a mortgage, DEFRA minister Lord De Mauley said that both RICS and the CML had agreed that a less draconian approach was needed.
Parliament is now in recess for Easter. The Commons will return on Monday 28 April, while the Lords returns on the later date of Tuesday 6 May.
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