On Thursday 2nd November, the Bank of England was supposed to announce its decision on raising interest rates.
Wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of living. Most people haven’t had a pay rise for a decade and we’re experiencing the longest period of wage stagnation since the eighteenth century. The government’s squeeze on pay has made employees in the public sector thousands of pounds worse off, while companies are choosing bigger dividends over investment in their workers.
Despite these conditions, the Bank of England was considering raising interest rates, which means higher mortgage payments and credit card bills, and killing off an already fragile recovery. With the biggest consumer debt burden in history, many households are drowning in debt. Even a small rate rise can push them under.
The government and the Bank of England have the power to boost incomes, should they choose to use it. But instead, the Bank has spent the last eight years pumping billions into financial markets through quantitative easing, while the government’s been cutting spending for the rest of us.
So, Positive Money team and supporters gathered opposite the Bank to tell Governor Mark Carney and his colleagues not to make a decision the country can’t afford.
We were there to meet them with a “No rate rise without a pay rise” banner.
There were also speeches from:
Fran Boait – Executive Director, Positive Money
Samuel Tarry – Political Officer, TSSA
Faiza Shaheen – Director, CLASS