Jacob Rees-Mogg: My mortgage has gone up

Millionaire Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told on Wednesday how his mortgage has gone up.

The average two-year fixed rate mortgage rate has risen well above six per cent after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget on September 23 which sparked turmoil on the markets and sent the pound into a nosedive, before it recovered much of its losses.

Asked by presenter Kay Burley on Sky News if his mortgage had gone up, Business Secretary Mr Rees-Mogg said: “We both have mortgages that have gone up.”

He stressed that he did not want to draw attention to his personal circumstances, but pressed again on the issue, said: “Any inflation-rate mortgages have gone up..mine has gone up.”

Hundreds of thousands of people are seeing their mortgage payments rise, if they are on variable rates or if their fixed deals have come to an end.

The higher mortgage costs, which have been partly blamed by economists on Mr Kwarteng’s mini-Budget, are worsening the cost-of-living crisis, with energy bills also rising despite the Government’s £60 billion support package to keep them down this winter for households and businesses, and inflation close to ten per cent.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said: “Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted his own mortgage has gone up, but won’t take the action needed to help the millions terrified of losing their homes as interest payments go through the roof.”

Mr Rees-Mogg also said he had confidence in Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey after sterling dropped in value following comments he made that emergency support to help out pension funds, hit by soaring gilt yields after the mini-Budget, would be withdrawn on Friday.

The Cabinet minister insisted that pensions were safe but said some funds had problems due to their investments.

He refused to get drawn into speculation about whether the Bank of England should extend its emergency bond-buying programme beyond the end of the week.

The Business Secretary told Sky News: “First of all, there’s the issue of the relatively high-risk investments that some pension funds have made that they were gearing on their gilt holdings.

“The problem with gearing is that when values change, if they change sharply, which has been a phenomenon with gilts because of the change in interest rates, so the underlying base rate has gone up significantly in this country and globally.

“Now if you’ve seen long rates move out, and that’s been happening here as elsewhere, that’s had an effect on pension funds.

“The Bank of England is obviously operationally independent, and that’s quite right, and that the Governor will make decisions in accordance with the markets. But the Bank of England does have responsibility and has had responsibility for a very long time to ensure the orderly functioning of markets and, therefore, it intervenes from time to time when there are unexpected events.”

Pressed on whether the Bank of England was right to signal an end to its market intervention, Mr Rees-Mogg repeatedly refused to be drawn on the matter but insisted he had confidence in Mr Bailey.

“I’m not going to criticise the Bank of England or the Governor. It is not for me to speculate on what the Bank of England is doing,” he said.

Mr Rees-Mogg also refused on Wednesday to indicate publicly his own view on whether benefits should rise in line with inflation, the latest issue that is splitting the Tory party

The Cabinet minister is reported to back increasing benefits in line with inflation, rather than earnings, with Prime Minister Liz Truss and Mr Kwarteng having not ruled out the latter option.

Mr Rees Mogg said: “We haven’t yet had the inflation figure on which benefits will be set. So, that is something that will be decided once the figure is available.

“This decision will be made once the figures come out. The statutory instrument has to be laid in November to put through the increase. That will be done in the normal way. This is completely routine governmental decision-making.”

Published by anthonyhayble

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