I understand why the Government will not accept the amendment, and I do not want to go there again, but what we need is urgency. Time is not just money; it is also worry, anxiety and uncertainty, and I echo the points made in one of the many excellent letters from my constituents in Portishead on this. It says: “It is not right that leaseholders have to worry about the costs of fixing safety defects that we did not cause.” We all agree with that; the question is who should pay. If the costs are a direct result of legislative change made by the Government, it is reasonable for taxpayers to contribute to that. If they are not, builders and insurers should pay, including for non-cladding related defects.
The second point that my constituent makes is this: “We recognise that the additional £3.5 billion announced by the Secretary of State is a step forward and we do welcome this funding. We are still awaiting the full detail of this funding announcement, as well as that of the proposed loans for medium-rise buildings.” In the last debate, we were told that more details would be forthcoming after the Budget. It is after the Budget, and we have still not had the details we are looking for, and these are real-time problems for which our constituents require real-time solutions.
My constituent goes on to say that “providing funding for buildings over 18 metres while forcing leaseholders in buildings under 18 metres to pay via a loan scheme is entirely unfair, because building height alone does not determine fire risk.” We understand that, and again it is about appreciating that there needs to be a cut-off to stop taxpayers having to sign a blank cheque, but the cost for remediation should be met by those who are actually responsible for the problems in the first place.
The final problem that my constituent raises—it has been raised so often in this debate and previous debates—is negative equity and the difficulty of resale, which is causing immense distress. It can be a major generational problem for people who are looking to sell or downsize. It can cause them a great deal of anxiety. We have heard that the market should sort it out, as we would normally expect, but we are still waiting for elements of that that the market would normally regard as being necessary.
Will my right hon. Friend give way?
I will not, because time is short and so many Members want to get in; I apologise to my hon. Friend.
Last time, I asked what direct contact Ministers had had with the Association of British Insurers, the building societies and the banks, because without their help, we are unable to deal with the negative equity and resale problems that are at the heart of so much of the distress we find. I know from talking to so many of my constituents about this issue that they appreciate that the Government have already come a long way. They are very grateful for taxpayer support. The problem is that we need more details, and for real-time issues, we need real-time solutions. Urgency is the key.