30 October 2023 – today’s press releases

  • HSBC profits: Govt cut taxes for big banks over protecting people’s mortgages
  • Reynolds: Number 10 Culture of Chaos laid bare

HSBC profits: Govt cut taxes for big banks over protecting people’s mortgages

Responding to HSBC announcing it made quarterly profits of £6.35 billion, boosted by higher interest rates, and more than double what they were through the same period last year, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

It was the Conservative party’s economic vandalism that crashed the economy and now the big banks are raking in massive profits off the back of working people’s spiralling mortgage payments.

To add insult to injury, this Conservative government cut taxes for the banks and is now set to remove the cap on bankers bonuses.

They are so out of touch they may as well be on another planet. Working families are left without support, fearing they may lose their homes or have to choose between heating and eating again this winter.

It is a situation that illustrates exactly why the Conservative party is completely unfit to manage our economy.

Reynolds: Number 10 Culture of Chaos laid bare

Responding to Martin Reynolds statements at the COVID inquiry, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

The culture of chaos in Number 10 has been laid bare.

Time and again, the people charged with keeping the country safe, saw themselves as above the law, working to save their own skin whilst thousands of families could not see their loved ones or say goodbye.

Warring factions, senior figures spinning in circles, and a complete inability to get to grips with any of the major issues facing our COVID response: bereaved families will feel sick to their stomachs hearing about this litany of failings which led to so much unnecessary suffering.

Many will rightly be furious. Their actions have caused irreparable damage to trust in politics and put millions through unnecessary pain. It is unforgivable.

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9 Comments

  • Given the higher interest rates are wholly due to the actions of the BoE in their misguided actions to tackle the 80% of inflation which is and they admit is beyond their control, it would seem the linking of BoE base rate to the interest rates the public pay to borrow money is incorrect, instead base rate should be linked to the rate banks borrow money from people, namely the interest rate paid on savings accounts.

  • Peter Martin 31st Oct '23 - 8:27am

    “It is a situation that illustrates exactly why the Conservative party is completely unfit to manage our economy.”

    True, but it goes much deeper than this.

    Those who believe that the best way to reduce inflation is by by taking ever more money from working people and giving it to the banks also aren’t fit to manage our economy.

    Unfortunately they aren’t all confined to the Tory party.

  • Turkey has experimented with lowering interest rates but it has only exacerbated their cost of living crisis and current account deficit. They have reversed course since Erdogan was reelected this summer increasing interest rates from 8.5% to35% in an effort to bring inflation of over 60% under control Turkey raises interest rates for fifth time in as many months.

  • Nigel Jones 31st Oct '23 - 2:51pm

    It’s not just the culture of number 10 that mishandled Covid, it was bad leadership by Boris Johnson, who so many who worked closely with him have said was not fit to be Prime Minister. Thus, one witness said he changed his strategy every day. He also refused to set up a proper investigation after the first lockdown in order to learn from mistakes and hence is largely responsible for the delays and deaths in the subsequent period.
    Doe it not also cause us to examine what goes on in elections campaigns whereby people vote without adequate knowledge and often for the wrong reasons ? The managing of information during campaigns is crucial is it not ?

  • Nigel hunter 31st Oct '23 - 3:21pm

    The banks profit all round from mortgages. You have to pay them the deposit and they get the money from rate rises etc. Owning your own house and renting privately is also counter productive. That is why social housing should come back in a big way. Fixed rental costs. Nation wide links and rental money supports services The idea of owning your own house only benefits banks.

  • Mick Taylor 31st Oct '23 - 5:11pm

    The problem lies with monetarism and the idea that you can control inflation through interest rates alone.
    I spent much of my working life paying a mortgage with rates up to 15%. I am now, in retirement, mortgage free and have no rent to pay either. That was what a property owning democracy was supposed to be about.
    There are two other factors that mitigate against home ownership: deliberate restrictions on house building to keep prices and builders profits high; selling off social housing and not replacing it.
    Proper regulation of interest and hence mortgage rates abandoned by the monetarists would help and continued restrictions on banks and their greedy owners might bring sanity back to mortgage markets.
    There’s nothing wrong with home ownership, there is a lot wrong with the housing market

  • Peter Martin 31st Oct '23 - 6:44pm

    @ Joe,

    “Turkey has experimented with lowering interest rates but it has only exacerbated their cost of living crisis and current account deficit”

    Turkey’s tax collection system leaves a lot to be desired. Japan has a better system which has enabled it to keep interest rates low. Reducing demand by temporarily increasing taxation would be fairer on the young, it shares out the burden, and also be possible in the UK. The politicians are the problem here. They prefer to promote the story that it’s all someone else’s fault at the BoE.

    @ Mick Taylor,

    “The problem lies with monetarism and the idea that you can control inflation through interest rates alone.”

    Exactly.

    Jeremy Hunt has used the inflation problem as a reason for not being able to reduce taxes so politicians do know the extent of the fiction. It’s time they properly acknowledged it.

  • Russia despite being self-sufficient in food and energy and not being able to import from Western economies is increasing interest rates to contain inflation Russia raises interest rate to 15% after steep climb in inflation
    “Current inflationary pressures have significantly increased to a level above the Bank of Russia’s expectations,” the bank said. “Higher inflationary pressures are seen across an increasingly broader range of goods and services. This means that a steady rise in domestic demand is progressively exceeding the capabilities to expand the production of goods and the provision of services. These conditions boost businesses’ appetite to pass higher costs on to consumers, which is driven among others by the weakening of the rouble and labour shortages.”
    Japan is also having to tighten its monetary policy allowing bond yields to rise in the face of higher than expected inflation and a rapidly weakening Yen. Up till now it has been able to contain prices and wages with energy and food industry subsidies coupled with below inflation wage settlements “Wages adjusted for inflation declined in August for the 17th straight month. The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, which represents about seven million members, is seeking pay increases of more than 5% at annual wage negotiations next spring” Japan’s Seven-Year Experiment in Extreme Interest-Rate Control Is Coming to an End

  • Peter Martin 1st Nov '23 - 8:04am

    @ Joe,

    The “philosophy”, although ‘scam’ might be a better word, of Monetarism does seem to have caught on worldwide. So, it’s no surprise that it’s spread to Russia too. The ruling classes of all countries like the idea they should be paid more as interest rates rise as a supposed solution to the problem of inflation.

    On the the other hand they argue that the rest of us should have to make do with less, ie be paid less, also as supposed solution to the inflation problem.

    Go figure!

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