Douglas Carswell

01 NOV 2016

Interest rates need to rise

Should Mark Carney stay on as governor of the Bank of England? It was wrong for him to politicise the office during the referendum campaign. But the more important question now is: will he stop peddling Project Fear, and raise the interest rates?

Britain has now had eight years of record-low interest rates and quantitative easing. These were supposed to be emergency measures, in the wake of the financial crisis. Instead, they have become the norm.

There always seems to be another lame excuse for ultra-loose monetary policy. We were assured it was necessary to ward off deflation – even though inflation has never stopped. We were told it was essential to stimulate growth – but when growth resumed, interest rates didn't return to normal.

Rather than raise the rates after eight years, Carney and co. have pushed them even lower. This time, the excuse was that Britain was about to suffer a post-referendum recession. But, instead, Britain currently has the fastest-growing economy of any developed country. Once again, the case for monetary easing doesn't hold water.

Keeping rates low isn't about playing on the safe size. Loose monetary policy is the big risk to the global economy.

By making it artificially cheap to borrow, central bankers are intensifying economic imbalances. They're driving up household borrowing while dropping pensions into the red. They're encouraging savers to pump capital into unsustainable asset bubbles rather than productive investment.

As UKIP's Economy Spokesman, Mark Reckless, has written in a new paper (and in City AM), loose monetary policy is one of the biggest factors behind stagnating productivity.

The real reason the Bank of England finds any excuse to keep rates low has nothing to do with what's best for Britain long-term. Loose monetary policy is just a short-term fix to prop up zombie banks and let the government get away with fiscal irresponsibility.

Cheap credit is like cholesterol clogging up the arteries of our economy. There's no justification for it to continue.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee meets again on Thursday. For Britain's long-term economic health, it needs to raise the rates.

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