A petition calling on the government to set up an independent enquiry into the cladding crisis has reached a key 10,000 signature milestone.
This means it will receive an official response from the government; if the petition goes on to secure 100,000 signatures it may trigger a Parliamentary debate on the subject.
The petition says:
“Hold a full and independent inquiry into the cladding and fire safety scandal
“Figures suggest 1.9 million leaseholders are now considered ‘mortgage prisoners’.
“Government blames builders, builders blame building regulation, inspectors blame builders. Innocent leaseholders have a right to know who was responsible for one of the greatest building scandals in UK history.
“Leaseholder law means leaseholders face crippling waking watch building insurance costs. They must also pay towards cladding, missing fire breaks, faulty fire doors etc.
“Having bought apartments in good faith, following correct legal process, they face ruinous costs through no making of their own. Mental stress, depression and unable to sell, lives have been put on hold and their personal stories are heartbreaking.
“They deserve a full and independent inquiry into how this happened.”
An additional £5 billion towards clearing dangerous cladding was announced in last week’s Budget, along with details of a new development tax to help fund the work.
Now former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has emerged as a belated champion of additional cladding funding, saying his attempts while in office to secure more public money were blocked by the Treasury.
Speaking on the BBC Jenrick said: “I am able to speak a bit more freely than I could a few months ago. What is the balance between the state paying and then trying to recoup as much of that as possible from the developers through taxes and the leaseholders?
“At the moment the balance is £5 billion by the state, the remainder we don’t know exactly how much but clearly multiple billions of pounds by the leaseholder. The leaseholders find that extremely unfair. The only way to fix that would be for the taxpayer to step in and massively increase that £5 billion fund.
“At the moment, and I have fought this battle for a number of years, the Treasury and the government aren’t willing to do that.”
It is anticipated that the new development tax of four per cent will generate no more than £2 billion.