East Lothian Courier – 10 August 2023


A further interest rate rise is a disaster for many families and also for many struggling businesses. Both face increased mortgage or bank charges at a time when energy and other costs are continuing to rise.

Of course, inflation has to be brought down but this is crippling individuals and our economy and’s damaging. Banks are making fortunes whilst ordinary folk are facing penury. The City of London will benefit but the vast majority of citizens and the wider country certainly won’t.

Briefings that I and other MPs receive advise that those who are struggling or fearful should contact their bank or mortgage provider and I’d echo that. Steps can be taken to allow for a respite or an extension. So those who are struggling should seek to discuss what options there are for them.

I’m fortunate in being at an age where I’ve paid off my mortgage, but my children haven’t. Yet they, as with so many of their peers, are paying more and for longer. The length of a mortgage now will see many still paying out well beyond my current age.

That’s not right and it’s why we can’t allow rates to continue to rise even if they’re lower than what my generation paid. Other pressures whether lack of affordable rented accommodation and the massive hike in energy costs make that essential. Young folk need a chance to get onto the property ladder and to be able to keep the roof over their head when they do.

Central banks such as we have with the Bank of England should be under the direction of government and to do what’s in the best interests of our economy and wider society. At the moment too many people are being sacrificed to ensure the benefit of the City of London and bankers. It’s staggering that we were told that pay rises, whether for nurses, rail workers or police, are unaffordable or fueling inflation. But whilst bankers’ bonuses were restored, and their pay’s going through the roof.

It’s why a windfall tax should be imposed on banks not just energy companies.