The government has defeated a bid to save householders from footing the bill to get rid of combustible cladding – the same cladding responsible for the tragedy at Grenfell Tower.
Despite 29 Tories rebelling, the government comfortably saw off an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill, passing by 322 votes 253. Recently, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick betrayed thousands of leaseholders by announcing a £3.5bn package to replace combustible cladding, but only to towers over 18m in height. Those in smaller properties were required to take out loans.
If the amendment, supported by Luke and Labour, had passed, the state would have instead paid the costs of removing the dangerous materials upfront, imposing a levy on cladding producers, contractors and developers to recoup the cost.
Responding to this vote, Luke said:
“It is not fair that leaseholders have to pay for problems that they did not create. It is a disgrace that the government have dismissed any fair solutions to the cladding scandal and instead chose to leave blameless people with the stress of paying the bill.
“This could leave people bankrupt, homeless or even worse. This government need to realise that not everyone has an endless supply of money and there are serious consequences to the leaseholders after the government dismissed this amendment. It is morally unacceptable that they have done this.”