Jeremy Warner: Cynicism of the mortgage plan

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The Independent Online

Outlook: Following my generally positive note yesterday on the Government's proposed mortgage-relief scheme, a banker calls to tell me I'm talking nonsense and to point out that the largesse of the taxpayer in underwriting a two-year moratorium on mortgage repayments for the unemployed is far from free.

The Treasury is to charge a fee, the size of which is so far unspecified. The real purpose of the scheme, he insists, is the entirely political one of ensuring repossessions don't surge before the general election to the record levels they were at under the Tories in the last housing crash of the early 1990s. Too cynical? He may have a point.