Cladding crisis: Labour questions Government's cladding announcement

10 February 2021, 20:03

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A Labour MP has told LBC that some people living in homes covered in flammable cladding will really struggle to pay an extra £50 a month.

After Housing Secretary unveiled a new £3.5 billion package to end the "cladding scandal" LBC spoke to his Labour opposite number.

Three and a half years on from the Grenfell Tower fire, the UK is still battling with the repercussions.

The "cladding crisis", sparked by the identification of fire safety defects in other buildings, has left many people living in unsafe and unsellable homes.

Labour's Thangam Debbonaire questioned the Government's own guidance for buildings under 18m on a day when some major announcements have been made on the Cladding Crisis.

Cladding crisis: Pensioner must find £7,000 for fire wardens for next 6 months

In a Commons statement, Robert Jenrick said the "exceptional" intervention means no leaseholders in high-rise blocks in England will face charges for the removal of unsafe cladding.

In his statement, Mr Jenrick said the Government will fund the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding on tower blocks in England more than 59ft (18m), or six storeys.

Read more: Leaseholders in high-rise flats to face 'no extra costs' to remove dangerous cladding

Read more: Tory MP blasts 'incompetent' Housing Secretary over cladding crisis

Raising the issue of a "terrible fire in an old peoples home in Crew" the Labour MP pointed out to LBC listeners that building would not have been eligible for the Government cash.

In the Commons, Mr Jenrick said the Government it will also develop a long-term scheme to ensure that those in lower to middle-rise blocks never have to pay more than £50 a month for cladding removal.

But Labour's Shadow Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary questioned where some residents would be able to get the £50 a month from.

Speaking to Iain Dale on LBC Thangam Debbonaire said: "For the Secretary of State maybe fifty quid a month extra doesn't seem that much," but she pointed out for some it would be a real struggle.

London mayor Sadiq Khan described the plans as "shameful".

"Three and a half years after the Grenfell Tower fire and many leaseholders are still being told to pay for building safety issues they played no part in causing," he said.

"Ministers need to give all leaseholders affected by this crisis the peace of mind they need and deserve."

The End Our Cladding Scandal campaign group said: "The Government promised us no leaseholder would have to pay to make their homes safe. Today we feel betrayed."