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Three MPC members vote for Base Rate Rise

Three MPC members vote for Base Rate Rise

Category: Economy

Updated: 23/02/2011
First Published: 23/02/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

A rise in the base rate of interest looks to be a step closer after it was revealed that three Bank of England policymakers voted for a rise earlier this month.

Minutes from the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) show that Andrew Sentance, Martin Weale and Spencer Dale all voted to increase the measure.

All other six MPC members voted to keep rates on hold at 0.5%.

Mr Sentance has long called for rates to be increased and toughened his economic stance this month, voting to increase rates from 0.5% to 1.0%.

The MPC member has consistently said that rates should have been increased previously as to avoid a situation where a number of rate hikes are implemented in quick succession.

Mr Weale and Mr Dale – who both voted for a rise for the first time – voted for a rise from 0.5% to 0.75%.

There was a further split in sentiment amongst the MPC as Adam Posen voted to restart the programme of quantitative easing, calling for another £50 billion to be injected into the economy.

All other eight members voted to keep the initiative on hold at £200 billion.

The Bank has come under increasing pressure to rise rates in a bid to ease the effects of sky-high inflation.

Inflation is currently at 4%, double the Government's long-term target of 2%.

Speaking to the BBC earlier this week, the Bank's deputy governor Paul Tucker conceded that the MPC faced a real dilemma over increasing rates in the next couple of months.

It has added to expectations that an increase could be seen as soon as March.

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