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Bailout may not be enough to save PM

How many more redundancies will it take before Prime Minister Gordon Brown realises he needs to help the mortgage industry? The loss of 50-plus jobs at edeus last week is another hammer blow to the market and a sure sign, if one were needed, that the worst is yet to come.

As the details of the Bank of England’s £50bn rescue package to swap AAA-rated mortgage books for government bonds emerged at the beginning of last week, it was clear that Brown has no real sense of how smaller building societies and specialist len-ders have been underpinning the mortgage and housing markets for the past 10 years or more. That this funding facility is not available to smaller and more innovative players beggars belief.

And while it’s reportedly taken BoE governor Mervyn King more than six weeks to devise the plan, Mortgage Strategy can only wonder what he has been doing since last August.

The signs of a serious market adjustment were apparent 12 months ago. Last April Mortgage Strategy was among the first to highlight the problems in the US mortgage market and the potential ripple effect on the UK.

The consequences should have been thought about and possible solutions planned back then, not while munching chocolate eggs this Easter.

While the £50bn on offer may go some way to-wards freeing up the credit markets, much more will be required if we are to see a return to some sort of normality.

With mortgage Armageddon beckoning, Brown must realise that the only way he can win the next election is to halt this crisis in its tracks.

After all, you need to be on the electoral roll to vote and to be on the electoral roll you need a home to live in.

Unfortunately, the coming months may see that becoming a luxury that thousands of families will no longer be able to afford.

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