Chamber boss counts cost of higher interest rates

TODAY’S increase in Bank of England interest rates has come at the “worst possible time” for people across the region including Gosport and Fareham with the rates going up to one percent from 0.75%, their highest level since 2009 and the fourth consecutive increase since December.

That was the reaction this afternoon from Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive and Executive Chairman Ross McNally. He said in a press release: “While we have been at historically low rates since 2009 and this latest rise is still relatively small, just 0.25 percent, it comes at the worst possible time.”

“There are mounting pressures on the cost of doing business. What a rate rise does is simply rein in discretionary spending by consumers and it is small and medium sized businesses – SMEs – who tend to bear the brunt of that lower demand.”

Outlook

He continued: “Some businesses are resilient and will be able to pass on higher costs to their customers through price increases, but many others are not in that position. For them, absorbing the impact of the rise will be extremely challenging given the economic outlook.

“The government must therefore redouble its efforts to help businesses through this period. That means providing ready access to packages of support including grants, loans and advice so that businesses can navigate their way out of the pressures they face. The government needs to look long-term.

Mr McNally concluded by saying: “Business growth is the only way the UK will continue to ensure economic stability and revenues for the public purse.”

PICTURED: Hampshire Chamber of Commerce boss Ross McNally gave a warning over interest rates going up following announcement on Monday.