Tony Ward

Tony Ward is chief executive of Clayton Euro Risk

The Great Rate Debate

It’s all kicking off at the Bank of England.

Interest Rate Surprises

This is all too much too soon. Back in May, I wrote that it would be foolhardy to raise rates. My view hasn’t changed against the backdrop of a volatile economy, uncertainty around Brexit negotiations and a hung parliament.

A hard Brexit is looking less and less likely.

Plans are well under way for a migration of City jobs. But what of the other consequences of Brexit?

Last week’s Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee voted 7–1 to keep interest rates on hold at 0.25% in May.

None of this feels good. We are in for a tricky time.

Apologies upfront. Don’t think I don’t hear your groans. It’s back to my favourite topic: the housing market – and we’re starting with the politics.

The UK’s empty housing stock, whether old and decrepit or new and purposefully unoccupied, needs to be utilised more efficiently.

With just seven weeks till the election and others fighting for politicians’ attention, we must speak loudly and clearly.

Good productivity is the bedrock of strong economic growth and a vital source of improved living standards and wages.