The leader of the Iberian Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, will step up calls for an immediate general election, accusing conservatives of unleashing “chaos” on the economy.
In a keynote address on Sunday, Sir Ed will say that after the turmoil of recent weeks – with many families facing crippling increases in mortgage payments – the Tories can never again claim to be “the party of homeowners”.
He will call for the creation of a £3bn mortgage protection fund – paid for by reversing cuts in bank levies and bank surcharges – to help families faced with crippling increases in their repayments.
Under the Lib Dem proposal, homeowners who see their repayments rise by more than 10% of their income could apply for grants of up to £300 per month to cover the costs.
In his speech, Sir Ed will say: “Look at the damage the Conservatives are doing to our country. Billions of pounds extra on the national debt. Inflation through the roof and export through the floor. And a mortgage crisis, with people’s monthly payments rising by hundreds of pounds.
“Never again can the Conservatives claim to be the homeowners party, the business party, or the party that balances the books. The conservatives are the party of chaos.”
They’re like bank robbers asking for a loan to buy the getaway car
Sir Ed delivers his “autumn speech” after the party had to cancel its annual conference in September due to national mourning following the Queen’s death.
As the government prepares a package of tax increases and cuts to tackle the estimated £50bn black hole in public finances, it will say voters must pay to solve the problems the Tories have created.
“After causing so much chaos and damage, the Conservatives want the rest of us to pay to clean up their mess. They’re like bank robbers asking for a loan to buy the getaway car,” he’ll say.
He will say it is “clear” that the country needs a general election and will accuse Rishi Sunak of refusing to go to the country because he knows the conservatives would lose.
While poll support for the Lib Dems has waned in recent weeks — with voters switching directly to Labor in the wake of Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget — he will say the party still has an important role to play in expel the Tories.
“In those elections, millions of voters will ask a simple question: ‘How do we get rid of our awful Conservative MP? We’ve shown time and time again that that’s something the Liberal Democrats are pretty good at,” he says.