Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary - The Evesham Observer

Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary

Evesham Editorial 29th Jul, 2023   0

LAST month, we celebrated Volunteers Week, and I met up with some of the amazing local people who give up their time to help at local Citizens’ Advice office.

Some of the people they help, are the same people who contact my office, and it was really useful to hear their insights and to encourage them to pass on people who need specific help accessing benefits, as MPs have a dedicated helpline to deal with the Department for Work and Pensions.

One of the major issues I have been seeing in my postbag is people worrying about the cost of living and rising prices.

It’s something which I have been challenging the Governor of the Bank of England directly over the last two years and it saddens me that the independent central bank has failed to achieve its mandate of protecting us from rising inflation.

Inflation is a terrible problem because it impacts on the lowest paid the most and although many experts predict the rate falling in months to come, it is still having a very real effect on people’s wages and livelihoods.

Because it started too late, the independent Bank of England has to raise interest rates a lot, meaning that home-owners with mortgages will face much higher payments. I have supported the efforts by the Government to encourage the banks and building societies to take a responsible approach with customers who are facing much higher repayments than they planned for.

It’s also important that customers have a sensible conversation with their lender as soon as possible to head off any serious issues. It won’t affect your credit score.

I’m also keen that the banks pass on rising interest rates to savers as fast as they pass on increased interest rates to borrowers.

Of course, I encourage everyone to regularly shop around to get the best deal on anything, and in this instance, it is only by customers voting with their feet that the banks will realise that they need to compete with better savings rates.

Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin writes for the Observer


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