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Deirdre Morley came to believe her cherished children were ‘doomed’

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Deirdre Morley became convinced she was an inadequate mother who had irreparably damaged her children, the Central Criminal Court heard during her trial for the murder of her three children.

On Thursday, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the murders of Conor (9), Darragh (7) and Carla (3) McGinley, who the trial heard were “very, very deeply loved”.

Ms Morley had a depressive illness that developed into delusions and psychosis, the court heard.

“I felt so useless,” she told a psychiatrist in Tallaght University Hospital in March of last year. She was admitted after she killed her children on January 24th, 2020 and tried to take her own life.

The court was told repeatedly that the children were cherished, cared for and loved by devoted parents, but Ms Morley came to believe they were “doomed”.

“They were broken like me because I couldn’t parent them, I couldn’t be resilient,” she told gardaí.

The first symptoms of the anxiety that would overshadow Ms Morley’s adult life emerged when she was still a student. She grew up in Dublin, the youngest of eight siblings. Her father died when she was 20 months old and she was close to her mother, maybe “a bit too close”.

She moved to Cork to study nursing in 1996 and was “ridiculously homesick”. Two years later, after her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she first attended a GP with mental health concerns. Her mother died at the age of 85 in 2015, a “source of enormous stress”.

Later in her career, when she was studying to add to her nursing qualifications, Ms Morley again became very stressed and had difficulty concentrating.

But after the exams were over, things improved. There was another period when she experienced bullying at work, but again, this passed.

“I had a difficulty asserting my authority, I’m a bit of a people pleaser,” she said.

It was only after she became a mother that these stresses crystallised into something much darker.

Peaks and troughs

She met her husband Andrew McGinley in 2002, and they “slotted into each other’s lives easily from the start”.

Their marriage was a good one that had “peaks and troughs”. But looking back later, Ms Morley wondered “how much of our struggles were my struggles”.

“I never stopped loving him. He was a really good guy,” she told forensic psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright.

Psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright is pictured outside the Criminal Courts of Justice after giving evidence in the trial of Deirdre Morley. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.
Psychiatrist Dr Brenda Wright is pictured outside the Criminal Courts of Justice after giving evidence in the trial of Deirdre Morley. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

The anxiety began to take hold again from early on in their marriage, though she became adept at hiding her feelings. She suffered from poor self-esteem, tearfulness, and low mood. At work, she had “an increasing fear of something happening on my watch”. Even when she was off, she would call into to work to check on the children in her care.

When she became pregnant with Conor, she was “really happy” and after his birth she was “on cloud nine” for the first four months. Her marriage was also in a very good place. Mr McGinley was “very paternal, he loves kids”.

But when Conor was four-months-old, the earlier anxieties began spiralling. She catastrophised about what were entirely normal developmental stages. She had “well beyond normal worries” that he was not in a routine, was not taking regular naps and would not take a soother.

“I was hard on myself. He was a good, happy, contented baby,” she said.

That anxiety and perfectionism became features of her parenting.

She agonised about their eating, their toilet training, why they were not yet riding a bike or swimming. She watched the clock constantly to see how much time they were spending on screens.

When Darragh was a boisterous two-year-old and went through a brief phase of hitting she thought she “was not giving him enough or the right kind of attention.”

Ms Morley was “completely distraught” when Carla started being a fussy eater. When Darragh was older and suffered from tummy aches after he changed school, she again blamed herself.

“Darragh was a great boy, he was very attached and attuned with me,” she later told doctors.

Family members tried to support and reassure her, but “when I was in the thick of it there was no talking to me,” she told Dr Wright. She later said “I can see now it’s all normal development.”

Her feelings of inadequacy as a mother became a recurring theme in her thoughts, but one she mostly concealed from her husband, sisters and friends.

Struggles at work

In March 2018, Ms Morley took 12 weeks off work with stress, and by the end of that year, “I wasn’t able to enjoy anything,” she told Dr Wright. She lost 10lbs over six weeks, and could not get through the day without a nap. She tried to go back to work, but was unable.

A GP she saw later that year noted that she was struggling to get out of bed and waking up early. She wanted to get away and felt overwhelmed looking after the children. Her records noted that she “can’t manage children at all.”

In early 2019, now back at work part-time, but still struggling with feeling overwhelmed, Ms Morley described a fantasy “that I am in apartment in Paris, no children, just me”. The notion that her mental health issues were impacting on her role as a parent and wife by now had tightened its grip on her.

By the summer, it was noted in her records, “doesn’t want to be around her children… doesn’t feel she can go back to the house.”

She was admitted to St Patrick’s Hospital on July 6th, 2019. There, she was described as “overwhelmed, low mood, poor sleep and appetite, excessive guilt, poor self-worth, early morning wakening, poor concentration”.

Some of these are symptoms of significant depressive illness, the court heard. Sometime before she was released her husband took a telephone call from the hospital. He was asked if he thought Ms Morley was a danger to herself or the children.

“He was really shocked…he honestly was stunned that this was even being suggested,” Mr Bowman told the court.

Prosecution counsel Anne-Marie Lawlor said that because Ms Morley was so medically qualified, she took control of her own treatment. The court heard that what she was going through day to day would not have been communicated in detail to her husband. Her final diagnosis ahead of her discharge from St Patrick’s was moderate depressive episodes.

In September 2019, her mood took a sudden upswing, but a GP worried it was “too high”. She was waking up at night to bake and cook and seemed elated, which can be a recognised phenomenon for some people on the wrong type of anti-depressant, the court was told. She was advised to reduce her dosage.

Last six months

The six months before the children’s deaths proved the most difficult in her marriage. She and Mr McGinley were talking less and mainly interacted around logistics, she told Dr Wright.

In November 2019, her sister contacted the GP to say Ms Morley had deteriorated significantly. She could not get up to bring the children to school and her sister had been unable to persuade her to the come to the doctor. She felt guilt, shame, worthlessness, but did not want to go back to St Patrick’s as an in-patient, so attended for a brief time as a day patient. At that time, she said, “I just want to evaporate.”

Her family, however, believed she began to improve in December and January, but she was presenting a different side to experts. Her counsellor noted in January that Ms Morley was “as bad as I have seen her”. She kept returning to the same theme: she was selfish, inadequate and had damaged the children.

Around the same time, her GP recorded Ms Morley’s view that “things are really hard at home, the boys are acting out as discipline has started to slide.”

Gardaí at the scene at Parsons Court, Newcastle, Co Dublin where the bodies of the three McGinley children were found. Photograph: Damien Eagers.
Gardaí at the scene at Parsons Court, Newcastle, Co Dublin where the bodies of the three McGinley children were found. Photograph: Damien Eagers.

The court heard repeatedly, however, that this was a “skewed” sense of the behaviour of the children. Defence barrister Michael Bowman noted that, “objectively all those that viewed them found them wonderfully engaging and delightful young children.”

This was a delusion, a manifestation of the mental illness that was gripping her.

In the final week of her children’s life, Ms Morley “started to think about a plan”. “I wanted to evaporate for a long time. I’m not sure when it became more definitive,” she said.

She thought about taking her own life, but thought “I can’t leave the children.”

In the week of January 20th, she began to have two recurring thoughts. “I had to go, I couldn’t not take them with me” and “I have ruined them by bad parenting and my mental illness. I felt they were doomed. They were going to be mentally ill and not secure.”

She told no-one about these thoughts.

On the Monday of that week, she saw her sisters, but felt “removed…less and less like myself.”

“I could only see all the positives in everyone else’s life and all the negatives in my life” and the children’s. Asked later if she had given any thought to the impact of killing the children on others, she said, “I was thinking people would be sad, but it was definitive, this had to happen…I thought it was the right thing to do, the hard thing, but the right thing.”

All she could think about was what she imagined would be their struggles for the future. Now, she told Dr Wright later in 2020, “all I can think of is what they had going for them so I can’t remember what I was worried about.”

Distressing events

Det Sgt Dara Kenny gave evidence from garda interviews on the first full day of evidence which laid out the distressing events of January 23rd and 24th, 2020.

Mr McGinley went away on a work trip on Thursday and was due back on Friday evening. The court heard he had no concern at all in relation to Ms Morley or the children. Throughout the time he was away, they were in frequent contact, and she betrayed no sign anything was wrong.

But on Thursday, she purchased rope from a hardware store with a view to making a noose. She looked up how to make a noose and searched for the N7 flyover and the Poolbeg lighthouse.

That evening, she attempted to sedate all three children and planned to suffocate them in their sleep.

Conor was having a bowl of porridge before bed, and Darragh was having Cheerios. She crushed six to eight morphine tablets to put them in the boys’ bowls, calculating that they would ingest three or four each. But the minute Conor tasted it, he said, “what’s that? That’s disgusting”, and spat it out.

She put a tablet containing codeine in Carla’s purple sippy cup, though she believed Carla had not consumed much of it.

That night, as she fell asleep in the big bed, her two boys beside her, she felt relief that it had not worked. She thought then that she would not go through with it. “I can’t do it but I don’t know how I am going to go on.”

On the children’s final morning, Darragh was off school with a cough and Carla stayed home from creche. She was playing with her dolls and toys, and asking her mother to play with her. Darragh was using his iPad and watching TV. After a while, both children watched Trolls together. Ms Morley pottered around and smoked some cigarettes outside.

At midday on Friday, there was a minor argument over screen time which “reinforced my faulty thinking” that she had damaged the children. She told Darragh he’d had enough screens and he responded that she was ruining his life.

“I knew this was another confirmation [THAT]I needed to do my plan,” she told a consulting psychiatrist in Tallaght University Hospital.

She remembered looking at the clock at about 12pm and thinking, “I just had to end our suffering.”

As she suffocated him using lengths of tape and a plastic bag, “I wanted to stop but didn’t think I could.”

At 12.39pm she got a text from her niece about wedding invites. She responded, “So exciting.”

At that stage, Darragh may already have been dead. “I’m not sure about Carla…I remember replying ‘it’s so exciting’, and thinking look what I’ve just done, or look what I’m in the process of doing,” she told gardaí.

She carried the bodies of Darragh and Carla upstairs. She realised Carla was still breathing, so she held her nose until she stopped.

She collected Conor early from school at 1.50pm, because she wanted “to make sure I was gone” before Mr McGinley got home at 4pm.

Nothing untoward

There, she exchanged brief words with another parent and the school secretary. She was texting her husband about this time about his plans for coming home, and showed no sign anything was wrong. There was “nothing untoward or strange at all” in her behaviour, Ms Lawlor noted.

They stopped on the way home so that Conor could get his favourite roll in Tesco. At this stage Ms Morley said she “was already regretting what I had done, but I didn’t think I could stop”.

While he was having his 15 minutes of screen time, she wrote a note that she would stick to a bicycle in the hall.

“Don’t go upstairs. Phone 911. I’m sorry,” it stated.

Flowers are seen outside the home of Andrew McGinley and Deirdre Morley following the deaths of their three children. Photograph: Stephen Colllins/Collins.
Flowers are seen outside the home of Andrew McGinley and Deirdre Morley following the deaths of their three children. Photograph: Stephen Colllins/Collins.

Conor’s final moments were spent with his mother, watching Jurassic World. By now, she was wavering in her plan.

“He was just being really good.”

At that stage, she told gardaí: “I’m thinking I can’t do this. This is awful…I can’t not do this because the other two are dead. How would he live with that? How would he live knowing that his mother killed his siblings?”

She persuaded him to put tape on his mouth and a bag on his head by pretending it was a game. “When I tightened it, I think he got frightened. It’s horrific, I know it’s horrific,” she said in her garda interviews four days later.

“He said ‘Mum, stop’, and I said, ‘I’m really sorry’.”

At this point, she was asked if she wanted a glass of water. “I just want them back,” she replied.

Asked later by forensic psychiatrist Dr Mary Davoren if she knew what she had done was wrong, Ms Morley replied: “I must have known it was wrong at some level because I waited for Andrew to be away to do it.”

She remembered thinking, “what if I don’t die?” and that if she survived, she would have to “spend my whole life in prison.”

After she had killed the children, she ingested at least 13 tablets, and brought a half bottle of wine with her in the car as she left the house at 4.10pm and drove to a N7 flyover bridge. She intended to end her life there.

At 5.10pm, there was another phone call with her husband, updating her on his timeline. But the drugs took hold by 5.35pm, and she crashed her car into a verge.

A woman passing in another car, nurse Deirdre Gorman, saw her slumped over the wheel and came to her assistance and brought her home. “I don’t remember anything else until I woke up in hospital on Sunday.”

When Mr McGinley arrived home after 7pm, his wife was collapsed outside the house being tended to by paramedics and members of the ambulance service, and nobody could tell him where the children were. It was he who found Conor’s body in the play tent downstairs.

The court heard that efforts were made to keep Mr McGinley out of the bedroom where Darragh and Carla’s bodies lay, but they were not successful.

“At that point, the level of distress was extraordinarily high,” the court heard.

When Ms Morley came out of her induced coma, her remorse, guilt and hopelessness at what she had done were immediate and overwhelming. On January 28th, she told a psychiatrist, “I wish I had a time machine.”

Three days later, now on an anti-psychotic drug, she was calm, but heartbroken. But she told doctors “the grief was unbearable. She wanted a magic wand to go back three weeks and ask for help.”

If you are affected by issues in this article you can call Pieta House 1800 247247 or text “HELP” to 51444, Contact Aware at 1800 80 4848 or supportmail@aware.ie or the Samaritans at 116123 or jo@samaritans.ie. You can also text “HELLO” to 50808

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Greige is the new hot colour for your home – here’s how to follow the trend

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Neither beige, nor grey — it’s ‘greige’. And you may have noticed the colour is gracing walls, floors and furnishings this year.

The combination of warmth and elegance offered by the tone can create a soothing yet dynamic space and is now a go-to neutral.

The key is to use it as an anchoring palette — a springboard for other, confident colours within your scheme.

Boldly neutral: A bathroom painted in greige tones from Little Greene. Greige can ground a space and counter potential garishness

Boldly neutral: A bathroom painted in greige tones from Little Greene. Greige can ground a space and counter potential garishness

‘Greige is often used as a safe colour, layered with other neutrals, but I like to use it to provide balance,’ says interior designer Rachel Niddrie. 

‘Try it as a backdrop or woven into a scheme to showcase bold textures, pattern and colour — on vibrant rugs, artwork and accessories.’

Combined with contrasting materials, greige can ground a space and counter potential garishness.

‘It works beautifully with dusky pinks as well as royal blues, teals, lime green and navy,’ says Rachel.

‘One of my favourite fabrics is No. 9 Thompson’s Ninfea Mania in Blush or Royal. Featuring painterly lilies on a loose weave, it can be used for curtains, sofas and chairs. The Blush has a greenish-grey in the pattern and a pearl oyster background that perfectly tones with greige.’

Add glamour

The shade is versatile, too, offering several decorative directions. ‘Monochrome accents add eye-catching detail, while metallic accessories will introduce understated glamour and bring warmth to the overall look,’ says Amanda Huber, founder of The Dining Chair Co.

‘If you are more daring, why not complement a neutral backdrop with beautiful printed linen upholstery on sofas or dining chairs? You can pick accent colours from the print and introduce them elsewhere to add energy to the scheme.’

Getting just the right shade of greige requires a considered eye.

‘As with any neutral or white, whether it is warm or cool, depends on underlying hints of warm pink or cool blue,’ says Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown. ‘Red tones elsewhere in your scheme can be complemented with a warm grey-beige, while cooler blues, deep greys and greens work with a cooler grey.’

Also, the light in the UK can seem flat, which affects our perception of colour.

‘Natural light can be limited in homes, making us crave something warmer than a straightforward grey,’ says Helen Shaw of Benjamin Moore. ‘Our Revere-Pewter (HC-172) is a classic warm grey that co-ordinates with more natural greys like steel, concrete, glass, pebbles, driftwood — even cloudy skies.’

There are many ways to make this classic tone contemporary. ‘One of my top tips is to pair greige with raw plastered walls,’ says Space Shack’s Omar Bhatti. ‘This produces a lovely combination of soft colour and contrasting texture, which adds character.’

Mix it up

‘Don’t be afraid to mix materials,’ says Collection Noir’s Samantha Wilson. ‘Timber looks beautiful when accompanied with limewashed walls, occasional metal details, soft linens and textured ceramics.’

All these elements are a softly modern way to work a classic greige. Bear in mind some of the most beautifully balanced and welcoming interiors are based on a subtle palette of beiges and greys.

Texture: Sofa.com’s Ginger armchairs in Champagne luxe boucle costs £1,045

Texture: Sofa.com’s Ginger armchairs in Champagne luxe boucle costs £1,045

‘The key is to layer and to remember that ‘neutral’ extends far beyond creams and sandy hues,’ advises King Living’s design studio. ‘It also incorporates olive, earth tones, red-based hues and deeper browns — all of which pair with a beige-grey base to create a timeless scheme.’

Avoid a flat finish, instead opt for unexpected texture. Try sofa.com’s Ginger armchairs in Champagne luxe boucle (pictured), £1,045.

Pooky’s Empire gathered lampshades in Flashman printed cotton, £56, add elegance.

Bring greige walls to life with Carpetright’s Mardi Gras 576 Estrella Vinyl. The encaustic tile-style flooring works beautifully in otherwise neutral utility rooms. 

A graphic rug such as H&M Home’s Patterned Pile rug, £149.99 peps up a greige sitting room, too.

Calming vibe

The desire for warm, zen-like spaces is growing, making greige both a lifestyle and design choice.

Omar Bhatti has painted his apartment in Little Greene’s Mushroom. ‘I used it on wall, doors, architraves and skirting and combined it with deep blue kitchen cabinetry,’ he says. ‘It is very calming.’

Combined with natural fibres, timbers and earthy colours, it creates a sense of balance and understated luxury.

‘The look is easily achieved,’ says Samantha Wilson. ‘Whether you accessorise with woven planters or linen cushions, throws, tablecloths, or jute and flatweave rugs.’

Versatility is key to this — it works just as well with earthy tones as jewel hues, but it always contributes to a timeless, cocooning interior. Just what many of us crave.

Savings of the week! Leaning mirror

Light on the wallet: Dunelm offers the Moroccan mirror for £105

Light on the wallet: Dunelm offers the Moroccan mirror for £105

A long, leaning mirror has several key benefits. It makes any room look larger, optimises the light and requires no DIY skills: you simply prop it against the wall. Do so carefully and you will look slimmer and more lissom.

Snapping up a bargain will enhance your feeling of wellbeing. At Dunelm, there are styles for every decor, reduced by 30 per cent, including the gilt-framed Midi (£42), the Moroccan (£105) and the Apartment (£91), which has a loft-living vibe.

The Range also has a wide selection, such as the Regency whose price has been cut by 20 per cent to £87.99; its ornate gilt frame is very Bridgerton.

Cotswold Company offers an arched mirror in a moody black frame, down from £179 to £149.

Rose & Grey has a large black Art Deco mirror, reduced from £595 to £505.75, which would look good in a 1930s house, and a black paned mirror that’s now £191.25, down from £225, which could be deployed in the garden.

Anne Ashworth 

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Birmingham’s property market boosted by the Commonwealth Games

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The huge, bold mechanical bull that roared into the Birmingham arena at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games could be a suitable metaphor for the city’s property scene.

‘There are so many positive things that have ridden on the back of the Games taking place here,’ says Andrew Oulsnam, director of Robert Oulsnam and Company, and the owner of 11 estate agencies around the city.

‘We’re seeing lots of increased investment, with prices rising substantially over the past year and a half. The Games have given us a “feelgood factor” which I am sure will spread beyond the event itself.’

Onto a winner: Birmingham's Victoria Square before the Games. Properties in the City are 60% lower than those in London

Onto a winner: Birmingham’s Victoria Square before the Games. Properties in the City are 60% lower than those in London

Warming to his theme, he says: ‘Even now, in August, there is a change; more interest from buyers — when traditionally, the summer months are not the best time for the property market. I’m optimistic about the future.’

The shift in Birmingham’s fortunes started with the proposals for the HS2 project, which, when completed in 2033, will cut journey times to London to under an hour. This encouraged large companies such as HSBC, which has moved its UK headquarters to the city.

Since then, PwC and Goldman Sachs have followed.

International estate agents are selling properties abroad, while at the same time several infrastructure projects have transformed Birmingham into a safe, energetic and culturally diverse city — and a young one, with under-25s accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the population.

This has added to the vibrancy, and the reason why many emerging industries such as technology innovation and life sciences have started up. It is also a shoppers’ city, with 1,000 retail outlets within a 20-minute walk of the centre.

And then there are the prices. Properties in Birmingham cost 60 per cent less than those in London.

 Universally now, living in Birmingham is seen in a positive light

Estate agent Philip Jackson 

‘The pandemic meant many people working from home appreciated the importance of having some outside space,’ says Lynda Williams, branch manager at Kings Heath estate agency.

‘I have clients who moved from London, selling their small flats for typically £500,000 and getting a lovely Victorian house and garden with original features, for the same money here.’

Philip Jackson, director of Maguire Jackson, deals with city centre properties and has seen the positive impact of the Games.

‘There is no doubt that the extra attention focused on Birmingham is helping the property market.

‘The Commonwealth Games, bringing 72 teams from all over the world, is a nice step on the HS2 journey,’ he says.

‘Rental prices over the past 12 months have increased by five to ten per cent, and universally now, living in Birmingham is seen in a positive light.’

He says the famous Jewellery Quarter is like Clerkenwell in central London 20 years ago, with controlled conservation of historical buildings, giving residential property an interesting vibe.

Intriguingly, too, this is where all the medals for the Commonwealth Games were made. Philip says the typical renter is a contract worker aged 25 to 35.

At the same time, the sales market is also steadily growing inside the Jewellery Quarter, where modern warehouse conversions of one-bedroom flats are going for £185-£200,000 and two bedrooms from £220,000 to £500,000.

Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, is naturally proud of the enthusiasm and the success the Games have brought. 

One of the legacies is 1,000 new homes being built in the north of the city at Perry Barr, next to the main stadium.

‘It has cost us £184 million to put on the Games and the Government matched it three times. Now, we have levered a billion pounds of investment into the city on the back of that,’ says Mr Ward. ‘We couldn’t afford not to have them.’

On the market… in our second city 

Wharfside Street: This two bedroom penthouse is in the city centre. There is access to a residents’ gym and the building has private parking. n Fineandcountry.com, 0121 272 600 £400,000

Wharfside Street: This two bedroom penthouse is in the city centre. There is access to a residents’ gym and the building has private parking. n Fineandcountry.com, 0121 272 600 £400,000

H0dge Hill: There are three bedrooms in this semi-detached home, on the outskirts of Birmingham, which also has a conservatory and a garage. n Shipways.co.uk, 01217 210 563. £230, 000

H0dge Hill: There are three bedrooms in this semi-detached home, on the outskirts of Birmingham, which also has a conservatory and a garage. n Shipways.co.uk, 01217 210 563. £230, 000

 

Wychall Road: Following a complete renovation, this three bedroom detached house has a newly fitted kitchen/diner, bathroom and off-road parking. n Ardenestates.co.uk, 01217 217 734. £299,950

Wychall Road: Following a complete renovation, this three bedroom detached house has a newly fitted kitchen/diner, bathroom and off-road parking. n Ardenestates.co.uk, 01217 217 734. £299,950

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Mortgage interest rates: Families on fixed rates face paying thousands more

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Millions of homeowners are facing a ‘mortgage time bomb’ as their fixed-rate loans come to an end, experts have warned, after the Bank of England imposed the fastest interest rate rise since 1997 and experts predicted it could hit 4% or more by the end of the year.

The decision came as Governor Andrew Bailey also predicted the UK will collapse into a year-long recession by the end of 2022 – its longest since the 2008 financial crisis and as deep as the one in the 1990s.

His doomsday warning also said that inflation will now be peaking at more than 13% – 11% above his own target – stoked by the soaring price of gas and fuel this winter. 

The Bank announced a 0.5 percentage point interest rate rise yesterday – the biggest increase in 27 years – in a bid to control spiralling inflation. Its base rate, which banks use to set mortgage costs, is now at a 13-year high of 1.75 per cent, up from 1.25 per cent. Around 2million homeowners with tracker or variable rate loans face eye-watering mortgage bill hikes as a result. 

New PM will have to find BILLIONS more to support households as inflation soars to highest level since the 1970s

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, has said the new prime minister is going to need to find billions to support households and public services.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about the 13% inflation forecast, he said: ‘It will have to some extent in the short run a positive impact if prices and, to some extent, wages are going up much faster than expected. There’ll be more tax revenues coming in.

‘But the thing that I find remarkable about the Conservative leadership debate is that they don’t seem to be talking about the things that’s really going to be in need of public finances.

‘The first is, of course, they’re going to have to find many more billions to support households. I mean, this is a much bigger increase in energy bills than was expected even a few months ago when the support packages were announced, and that’s not going to be helped by the sorts of tax cuts that are being talked about.

‘Secondly, of course, there’s going to need to be more money for public services – the health service education and so on – because with inflation at 13%, and pay rises there in the 5-6% range, that means that the level of increases that were put in place this year and announced a year ago are looking far too small, because that was done in the expectation that inflation will be 3-4%.

‘So, we’re looking at potentially big real-terms cuts to some of the public services, which are really struggling at the moment.’

 

Borrowers locked into cheap fixed deals will be shielded from any immediate increase in bills after the Bank of England yesterday hiked its base rate. But when they expire they face paying thousands of pounds more a year at a time when most other household bills are also soaring.

Borrowers with a typical £150,000 mortgage on the average standard variable-rate will have to pay an extra £44 a month, or £528 a year, according to figures from broker L&C Mortgages. Those with £400,000 home loans will need to find an additional £131 a month, or £1,572 a year. 

This is Money’s mortgage comparison calculator can help you work out how much your monthly payments would rise by and show the loans that you could potentially apply for, based on your home’s value and mortgage size.    

Today Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey denied claims he had failed in his job and had been ‘asleep at the wheel’ as he faced a ferocious backlash after admitting inflation will pass 13 per cent – 11 per cent above his own target. 

As the BofE was dubbed the ‘Bank of doom and gloom’, Tory leadership favourite Liz Truss insisted last night that a recession is ‘not inevitable’. She said: ‘We can change the outcome and we can make it more likely that the economy grows.’ Rishi Sunak claimed interest rates would reach as high as 7 per cent under his rival Liz Truss’s proposals. He also predicted the UK will collapse into a year-long recession by the end of 2022.

Critics said Bank officials including its £575,000-a-year boss should ‘rue the day’ they decided not to raise interest rates last year and last night Attorney General Suella Braverman said interest rates ‘should have been raised a long time ago and the Bank of England has been too slow in this regard’.

And amid some calls for him to resign, Mr Bailey told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘If you go back two years, which is, given the monetary transmission mechanisms, where we’d have to go back to, given the situation we were facing at that point in the context of Covid, in the context of the labour market, the idea that at that point we would have tightened monetary policy, you know I don’t remember there were many people saying that.’ 

As Mr Bailey set out the grimmest economic predictions for Britain in 60 years, it also emerged:

  • House prices fell in July for the first time in more than a year as rising borrowing costs add to the squeeze on household budgets;
  • Experts warned that millions of homeowners are facing a ‘mortgage ticking time-bomb’ as their fixed deals come to an end and rates rise;
  • Banks were again accused of cashing in on rate hikes by being quick to pass on increases to borrowers but dragging their feet when it comes to savings rates;
  • Struggling households face even more frequent energy bill hikes after watchdog Ofgem ruled the price cap should be changed every three months rather than twice a year;
  • It emerged that Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and his deputy, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke, are both away from their desks as Britain faces dire economic warnings;
  • Unemployment predicted to rise from 3.7% to 6.3% in the next three years;
  • Bank of England predicts inflation will still now be above 9 per cent in a year’s time – peaking at 13 per cent by the end of 2022 or early 2023; 

Deflation: Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey denied he had been ‘asleep at the wheel’

Deflation: Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey denied he had been ‘asleep at the wheel’

Inflation is now outstripping levels seen since the 1980s and appears to be out of control

Inflation is now outstripping levels seen since the 1980s and appears to be out of control

The Bank of doom and gloom

The Bank of England’s gloomy picture of the state of Britain’s economy over the coming years:

RECESSION

The economy will shrink for 15 months, starting in October, wiping 2.1 per cent off the UK’s output from peak to trough. The recession will be as long as the downturn during the 2008 financial crisis, although less severe.

INFLATION

The rise in the cost of living is set to peak at 13.3 per cent in October – the highest since 1980 – and remain high through much of 2023 as prices continue to rise. Most of this will be driven by the effects of the war in Ukraine.

ENERGY

As western countries try to shun Russia’s fuel supplies, and the Kremlin turns the gas tap off, energy prices are rocketing. The average household’s annual energy bill will rise to £3,450 when the next price cap rise is pushed through in October – worse than expected.

INCOME

Households’ real income – which takes into account inflation – will fall for two years, the first time this has happened since records began in the 1960s.

INTEREST RATES

The Bank has pushed up its base rate by 0.5 percentage points, the largest hike in 27 years, to 1.75 per cent. While this should help to keep a lid on prices, it will also cause more pain for mortgage holders and other borrowers as the cost of their debt climbs.

Experts have said the rises should have started much earlier – and as a result predictions that it will hit 3% to 4% by the end of this year ‘may not be sufficient’, one former BofE executive said today.

Commentator and senior member of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Christopher Snowdon, said last night: ‘If my only job was keeping inflation at 2% but inflation was 9% and I expected it to rise to 13%, I’d like to think I would have the decency to resign, even if I was earning £575,000 a year’.

Business leaders were also irritated by Mr Bailey’s pessimism. Advertising tycoon Martin Sorrell said: ‘Nobody was expecting that today – he’s rung the alarm bell and predicted a recession.’ He described the interest rate hike as ‘too much, too late’, adding: ‘It’s grim and we’re in for a really rough time.’ Gerard Lyons, of wealth manager Netwealth, said the ‘downbeat’ message delivered by Mr Bailey was ‘a reflection that the Bank of England is suffering from a self-inflicted credibility gap’. 

Andrew Bailey has admitted that rocketing inflation ‘concerns me most’ amid political criticism over the speed of actions taken by the bank to tackle the current economic turmoil.

‘We are in the centre of things because of what is going on in the world at large and the impact that is having on inflation, and that’s what concerns me most at the moment,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

‘Central bank independence is critically important in our view, but our job is to get inflation back down to target.

‘I think it’s important that there is a full debate during this process to choose the next prime minister of this country.

‘It is clearly very important that public officials like I do not intervene in this debate and I am not doing that.

‘We have strong views, of course, but I look forward to working with the new Government and new prime minister, and sure we will have substantive exchanges on this.’

Food, fuel, gas and numerous other items are rocketing in price following the pandemic and the war in Ukraine – hitting record levels – but some economists have claimed that the BofE has been too slow to act as Britain careers towards recession. 

Anyone with a fixed rate deal will be protected from rate hikes until the end of their term. But around 1.8million fixed rate mortgages are scheduled to end next year, according to banking trade body UK Finance.

David Hollingworth, of broker L&C, estimates that around half of loans currently arranged on fixed rates will expire in the next two years.

Adrian Anderson, director at broker Anderson Harris, warned: ‘We have a mortgage interest rate ticking time bomb scenario. Around 74 per cent of mortgages are fixed.

‘However, it is likely these borrowers will be moving on to much higher rates at a time when many other outgoings have already increased.’

The lowest two-year rates from the top ten lenders have more than doubled since December, according to L&C.

The average two-year fixed deal is now at 3.46 per cent, up from 1.35 per cent – which works out at £1,952 a year more for a typical borrower with a £150,000 mortgage. The average five-year deal has also risen from 1.54 per cent to 3.5 per cent over the same period, L&C’s data showed.

Many lenders also came under fire for pre-emptively increasing the price of mortgages ahead of the Bank of England announcement yesterday. On Monday, Hinckley and Rugby Building Society increased its standard variable rate to 6.44 per cent.

Halifax has raised its fixed rate deals by 0.4 percentage points, Lloyds by 0.27 and HSBC by 0.25. The Co-operative and Platform have both withdrawn their three and five-year fixed rate deals in the last two days, and Post Office Money has removed its mortgage range entirely.

The Bank of England predicts a year-long recession and near zero growth in GDP until after 2025

The Bank of England predicts a year-long recession and near zero growth in GDP until after 2025

Slides predict that the upcoming recession will be as long as the one in 2008 - but not as deep as that one or others in the 1970s, and 1980s. It will be similar in depth to the one in the 1990s

Slides predict that the upcoming recession will be as long as the one in 2008 – but not as deep as that one or others in the 1970s, and 1980s. It will be similar in depth to the one in the 1990s

The Bank of England’s own inflation predictions the price of fuel, gas and good will push up costs even more in 2024

The Bank believes that inflation will peak at the end of the year or early 2023 and drop again by 2025

The Bank believes that inflation will peak at the end of the year or early 2023 and drop again by 2025

Santander announced yesterday that its standard variable rate was rising by 0.5 percentage points to 5.99 per cent. 

Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, said: ‘Families are being hit by rising bills from all angles, whether it’s rising food costs, an increase in the price to heat their home, hikes in childcare costs or bigger bills for filling their tanks. Another increase in mortgage costs may be the straw that breaks the family budget.’

Meanwhile, banks have been accused of being quick to pass on increases to borrowers yet dragging their feet when it comes to rewarding savers.

Some, including Lloyds and NatWest, revealed last week that they have increased their net interest margins – the difference between what they earn from borrowers and pay savers – by 10 per cent or more. 

The Bank of England has increased interest rates from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent

The Bank of England has increased interest rates from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent

A Cornwall Insight forecast shows the energy price cap will stay higher than £3,300 from October to at least the start of 2024 and could even hit £4,000

A Cornwall Insight forecast shows the energy price cap will stay higher than £3,300 from October to at least the start of 2024 and could even hit £4,000

The Bank of England has predicted that inflation will reach 13% in the coming months

The Bank of England has predicted that inflation will reach 13% in the coming months

NatWest has passed on the full 1.15 percentage point rise to homeowners on its standard variable rate, but upped its Instant Saver rate by just 0.19 points to 0.2 per cent.

Barclays has also passed on the full increase to borrowers, but customers in its Everyday Saver account still earn a derisory 0.01 per cent.

Newcastle Building society has pledged to pass on the full base rate rise to the majority of savers from August 25. 

Santander will increase rates on some accounts from September 1. But its easy-access eSaver 18, now closed to new customers, will rise from 0.05 per cent to just 0.1 per cent.

ALEX BRUMMER: In choppy seas, does the Bank have the right captain?

By Alex Brummer for the Daily Mail 

Tough times are coming. That is the conclusion we should draw from the Bank of England’s extraordinary actions yesterday: Raising the base rate of interest by a full half-percentage point – the highest jump in 27 years – while making dire forecasts about our economic future.

Can we draw any comfort from the grim prediction that the surge in the cost of living will continue throughout next year and into 2024, and that inflation could soar as high as 13.3 per cent this winter?

We can. The Bank’s blundering Governor, Andrew Bailey, has been wrong in most of his forecasts up to this point.

His credibility is badly shot – and he may have overstated the problem. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

EY, the audit and consulting giant, argues that the UK ‘economy will perform better than the Bank predicts’ and accuses the Bank’s inflation forecasts of ‘resting on limited foundations’. 

The Bank’s blundering Governor, Andrew Bailey, has been wrong in most of his forecasts up to this point. His credibility is badly shot – and he may have overstated the problem. But you don’t have to take my word for it

The Bank’s blundering Governor, Andrew Bailey, has been wrong in most of his forecasts up to this point. His credibility is badly shot – and he may have overstated the problem. But you don’t have to take my word for it

Another City firm, Capital Economics, also disputes the Bank’s predictions, saying Bailey’s recession forecasts are ‘deeper and longer’ than its own.

All that helps to explain why Liz Truss, the frontrunner to be our next prime minister, wants to review the Blair-era rules under which the Bank operates independently of the Government.

The Commons’ Treasury select committee is already setting hearings on the topic.

Nevertheless, there seems little doubt that the immediate economic news is less than rosy. Interest rates are predicted to go as high as 3 per cent next year – at the same time that Britain faces its highest tax burden since Clement Attlee’s socialist administration of 1945.

There have now been six monthly interest-rate rises in a row – as many readers with mortgages will have noticed.

Homeowners on ‘tracker’ deals, which rise and fall with interest-rate increases, or on their banks’ ‘standard rate’, have suffered immediate hikes. But perhaps the biggest shock will be felt in the months to come by homeowners coming off fixed-rate deals set two, three or five years ago – when rates in some cases were below 1 per cent.

Online property portal Rightmove estimates that first-time buyers will now face monthly mortgage payments rising to 40 per cent of their gross salaries – a sacrifice not seen for a decade. Savers, who far outnumber people with home loans, have so far seen scant benefit from higher interest rates, even though the value of their bank deposits is being ravaged by high inflation.

Bailey put himself on their side yesterday, requesting that high street banks do the right thing and offer more competitive returns. We shall see if they listen. But many may not – not least because the Bank, under Bailey’s leadership, has come under heavy fire not only for its faulty forecasting, but for its tone-deaf proclamations for workers to show wage restraint (from a Governor who trousered more than £575,000 last year).

Like so much of the public sector, it is also afflicted by the increasing wokery that has seen working from home become entrenched in the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.

Faced with charges he has been asleep at the wheel as inflation has more than tripled from 4 per cent only a year ago to 13.3 per cent later this year, Bailey’s mealy-mouthed excuse – that the Bank could not have foreseen the war in Ukraine and the extraordinary impact it has had on energy prices – does not wash.

Nor did he offer even a scintilla of a mea culpa yesterday – despite having failed in his clear remit to keep inflation to a 2 per cent target. Bailey should have heeded the stark warning in May 2021 from the Bank’s former chief economist Andrew Haldane, who said that the ‘inflation genie’ was about to escape the bottle.

With the Bank now threatening to ‘act forcefully’ by raising interest rates even faster than expected in the coming months, the case for relieving consumers and businesses from swingeing taxes is even clearer.

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak has had an overdue Damascene moment and embraced a cut in VAT for motorists as well as a hefty cut in the basic rate of income tax to 20 per cent – but only by the end of the decade.

Liz Truss is prepared to act much faster, promising to rescind the 1.25 percentage point national insurance hike and cancel the vicious rise in corporation tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent next year.

A tax-cutting budget this autumn will be the only sensible choice if the economy is to escape the double whammy of higher taxes and rising interest rates.

The big concern is that the Bank, having been so wrong about inflation for more than a year, is now doubling down, raising rates at a terrifying speed.

In doing so, it risks squeezing the lifeblood out of an economy that has performed better than many other industrialised nations this year. Our prosperity and employment depend on it steering a safe course through these treacherous waters.

The question is, is Andrew Bailey the right captain for the ship?

Don’t blame me for recession! Bank of England governor hits back at claims he was ‘asleep at the wheel’ as runaway 13% inflation threatens the living standards of hard-pressed Britons battling rising energy, food, fuel and mortgage hikes

  • Critics accuse Bank Governor of failing in his job as recession looms and is predicted to last for a year
  • The Bank also raised interest rates by 0.5 percentage points to reach 1.75 per cent – raising mortgage rates
  • Governor Andrew Bailey has blamed ‘the actions of Russia’ overwhelmingly for the economic crisis 
  • And denied he was too slow to raise interest rates, claiming it would’ve choked any recovery from pandemic 
  •  BofE predicting that GDP will fall as much as 2.1% while inflation will reach 13% next year in Britain 
  • Forecasts predict that inflation rates will remain throughout next year – bumping up food, fuel and other bills

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey today denied claims he had failed in his job and had been ‘asleep at the wheel’ as Britain careers towards a year-plus recession and faced a ferocious backlash after admitting inflation will pass 13 per cent.

Critics said Bank officials including its £575,000-a-year boss should ‘rue the day’ they decided not to raise interest rates last year and last night Attorney General Suella Braverman said interest rates ‘should have been raised a long time ago and the Bank of England has been too slow in this regard’.

Experts have said the rises should have started much earlier – and as a result predictions that it will hit 3% to 4% by the end of this year ‘may not be sufficient’, one former BofE executive said today.

But amid some calls for him to resign, Mr Bailey told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘If you go back two years, which is, given the monetary transmission mechanisms, where we’d have to go back to, given the situation we were facing at that point in the context of Covid, in the context of the labour market, the idea that at that point we would have tightened monetary policy, you know I don’t remember there were many people saying that.’

But commentator and senior member of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Christopher Snowdon, said last night: ‘If my only job was keeping inflation at 2% but inflation was 9% and I expected it to rise to 13%, I’d like to think I would have the decency to resign, even if I was earning £575,000 a year’.

Business leaders were also irritated by Mr Bailey’s pessimism. Advertising tycoon Martin Sorrell said: ‘Nobody was expecting that today – he’s rung the alarm bell and predicted a recession.’ He described the interest rate hike as ‘too much, too late’, adding: ‘It’s grim and we’re in for a really rough time.’ Gerard Lyons, of wealth manager Netwealth, said the ‘downbeat’ message delivered by Mr Bailey was ‘a reflection that the Bank of England is suffering from a self-inflicted credibility gap’. 

Food, fuel, gas and numerous other items are rocketing in price following the pandemic and the war in Ukraine – hitting record levels – but some economists have claimed that the BofE has been too slow to act as Britain careers towards recession. 

As the BofE was dubbed the ‘Bank of doom and gloom’, Tory leadership favourite Liz Truss insisted last night that a recession is ‘not inevitable’. She said: ‘We can change the outcome and we can make it more likely that the economy grows.’ Rishi Sunak claimed interest rates would reach as high as 7 per cent under his rival Liz Truss’s proposals.

Deflation: Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey denied he had been ‘asleep at the wheel’

Deflation: Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey denied he had been ‘asleep at the wheel’

MailOnline has laid bare the miserable increases households now face because of interest rates

MailOnline has laid bare the miserable increases households now face because of interest rates

Inflation is now outstripping levels seen since the 1980s and appears to be out of control

Inflation is now outstripping levels seen since the 1980s and appears to be out of control

Rishi Sunak

Liz Truss

Rishi Sunak claimed interest rates would reach as high as 7 per cent under rival Liz Truss’s proposals – while she insisted her plan to cut taxes would fuel economic growth

The Bank of doom and gloom

The Bank of England’s gloomy picture of the state of Britain’s economy over the coming years:

RECESSION

The economy will shrink for 15 months, starting in October, wiping 2.1 per cent off the UK’s output from peak to trough. The recession will be as long as the downturn during the 2008 financial crisis, although less severe.

INFLATION

The rise in the cost of living is set to peak at 13.3 per cent in October – the highest since 1980 – and remain high through much of 2023 as prices continue to rise. Most of this will be driven by the effects of the war in Ukraine.

ENERGY

As western countries try to shun Russia’s fuel supplies, and the Kremlin turns the gas tap off, energy prices are rocketing. The average household’s annual energy bill will rise to £3,450 when the next price cap rise is pushed through in October – worse than expected.

INCOME

Households’ real income – which takes into account inflation – will fall for two years, the first time this has happened since records began in the 1960s.

INTEREST RATES

The Bank has pushed up its base rate by 0.5 percentage points, the largest hike in 27 years, to 1.75 per cent. While this should help to keep a lid on prices, it will also cause more pain for mortgage holders and other borrowers as the cost of their debt climbs.

Mr Bailey shocked Britain yesterday with the gloomiest economic warning for decades. He said the UK will collapse into a year-long recession by the end of 2022 – its longest since the 2008 financial crisis and as deep as the one in the 1990s – with inflation peaking at more than 13% stoked by the soaring price of gas and fuel this winter.

Britain’s big squeeze also got even worse after the Bank raised interest rates by 0.5 per cent to 1.75 per cent – the highest single rise since 1997 – but experts have warned it could reach as high as 3 per cent by the end of the year, adding £1,000-a-year or more to the average non-fixed mortgage in a new ‘world of pain’ for homeowners.

In May, Mr Bailey said workers, particular high earners, should ‘think and reflect’ before asking for high wage increases – a remark which drew criticism at the time. And he appeared to double down today.

He told the BBC: ‘I put this in terms of high pay rises and high price increases, because in that world it’s the people who are least well off who are worst affected because they don’t have the bargaining power, and I think that is something that, you know, I would say broadly we all have to be very, very conscious of.’

It came as grim economic predictions forced the Bank to raise interest rates by 0.5 percentage points – the largest amount since 1995 – to reach 1.75 per cent.

It is a highly unusual move. While higher rates can help to tame prices, they can also slam the brakes on economic growth. The Bank also revised its expectations for inflation to a peak of 13.3 per cent in October. Just two months ago, it was predicting a maximum of 11 per cent.

The Bank said the red-hot inflation will cause the UK to slump into a drawn-out recession, with output shrinking for 15 months from the final quarter of this year until the end of 2023.

Households will see their real incomes, or how much money they make taking into account rising prices, fall by the largest amount on record, it predicted.

The bleak update deepened the Tory leadership contenders’ bitter debate over the best way to repair the economy.

Rishi Sunak claimed interest rates would reach as high as 7 per cent under rival Liz Truss’s proposals – while she insisted her plan to cut taxes would fuel economic growth.

Miss Truss will look at whether the Bank of England was ‘fit for purpose’ if she became prime minister, an ally said.

In other developments:

  • Experts warned that millions of homeowners are facing a ‘mortgage ticking time-bomb’ as their fixed deals come to an end and rates rise;
  • Banks were again accused of cashing in on rate hikes by being quick to pass on increases to borrowers but dragging their feet when it comes to savings rates;
  • Struggling households face even more frequent energy bill hikes after watchdog Ofgem ruled the price cap should be changed every three months rather than twice a year;
  • It emerged that Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and his deputy, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke, are both away from their desks as Britain faces dire economic warnings;
  • Unemployment predicted to rise from 3.7% to 6.3% in the next three years;
  • Bank of England predicts inflation will still now be above 9 per cent in a year’s time – peaking at 13 per cent by the end of 2022 or early 2023; 

Some economists had been calling on the Bank to raise rates since last summer, when signs that inflation was heating up began to emerge.

The Bank did not begin raising interest rates until December. Since then, it has embarked on an unprecedented string of rate hikes at six back-to-back meetings.

Mr Bailey said he had ‘huge sympathy’ for squeezed borrowers, but added: ‘I’m afraid the alternative is even worse, in terms of persistent inflation.’

Attorney General Suella Braverman, who is backing Miss Truss’s leadership campaign, said: ‘Interest rates should have been raised a long time ago and the Bank of England has been too slow in this regard.’ Andrew Sentance, a former member of the Bank’s rate-setting monetary policy committee (MPC), agreed that policymakers ‘have acted too late’.

‘I would have voted in the second half of last year for quicker interest rate rises and bigger interest rate rises,’ he said.

‘In my world, interest rates would have been up to 3 or 4 per cent now – instead we’re at 1.75 per cent. The MPC should rue the day collectively when they didn’t raise rates when they were so low.’

The Bank of England predicts a year-long recession and near zero growth in GDP until after 2025

The Bank of England predicts a year-long recession and near zero growth in GDP until after 2025

Slides predict that the upcoming recession will be as long as the one in 2008 - but not as deep as that one or others in the 1970s, and 1980s. It will be similar in depth to the one in the 1990s

Slides predict that the upcoming recession will be as long as the one in 2008 – but not as deep as that one or others in the 1970s, and 1980s. It will be similar in depth to the one in the 1990s

The Bank of England’s own inflation predictions the price of fuel, gas and good will push up costs even more in 2024

Mr Bailey was defensive when asked if his critics had a point when they said that ‘having been asleep at the wheel, the Bank is now slamming on the brakes at precisely the wrong time’.

He said: ‘No, I don’t think they do. We have been hit – or the world economy has been hit – by very big shocks. And for the UK, that means very big external shocks.’ Mr Bailey insisted that ‘returning inflation to the 2 per cent target remains our absolute priority – there are no ifs and buts about that’.

Tory leadership favourite Liz Truss said that a UK recession was ‘not inevitable’ last night amid warnings of a year of economic woe for tens of millions of Britons.

Facing questions from Tory members in a live TV debate on Sky News she played up her proposals to axe the National Insurance rise and proposed increase in Corporation Tax.

But she faced a wave of hostile questions from Tories, including a former parliamentary candidate who said that Margaret Thatcher would not agree with her.

Ms Truss told the studio audience: ‘What the Bank of England have said is of course extremely worrying but it is not inevitable. We can change the outcome and we can make it more likely that the economy grows.’

She said she would she wanted to keep taxes low and ‘do all we can to grow the economy by taking advantage of our post-Brexit freedom, unleashing investment, changing things like the procurement rules and doing things differently’.

She added: ‘Now is the time to be bold, because if we don’t act now, we are headed for very, very difficult times.’

But later Mr Sunak warned that Liz Truss’ plans will make the dire economic situation worse, warning of ‘misery for millions’ by pouring ‘fuel on the fire’.

The former chancellor told the Sky News debate: ‘We in the Conservative party need to get real and fast because the lights on the economy are flashing red and the root cause is inflation.

‘I’m worried that Liz Truss’s plans will make the situation worse.’

He said he was not ‘promising 10s and 10s of billions of pounds of goodies’ in an apparent swipe at Liz Truss’s plans for tax cuts. He described such an approach as ‘risky’ and said he wanted to ‘be honest’ with the country.

Facing Ms Truss, a woman identified as ‘Jill from Tunbridge Wells’ said she was not happy with her comments on balancing the country’s books, describing the candidate’s proposed policies as ‘not sound economics’.

She told Ms Truss: ‘Liz, I do not want to see my children and my grandchildren encumbered with huge debt at a time of rising interest rates, Bank of England, and at a time of high inflation. The one thing Margaret Thatcher believed in was sound money. This is not sound economics.’

Energy prices will push the economy into a five-quarter recession – with gross domestic product (GDP) shrinking each quarter in 2023 and falling as much as 2.1%. ‘Growth thereafter is very weak by historical standards,’ the Bank said on Thursday, predicting there would be zero or little growth until after 2025.

Bank Governor Andrew Bailey blamed ‘the actions of Russia’ overwhelmingly for the economic crisis and the ‘energy shock’, which will push more households into poverty and also see more people lose their jobs.

He said: ‘Wholesale gas futures prices for the end of this year… have nearly doubled since May,’. They are ‘almost seven times higher’ than forecasts had suggested a year ago, adding: ‘That’s overwhelmingly a consequence of Russia’s restriction of gas supplies to Europe and the risk of further cuts’. 

Consumer Prices Index inflation will hit 13.3% in October, the highest for more than 42 years, if regulator Ofgem hikes the price cap on energy bills to around £3,450, the Bank’s forecasters said this afternoon, predicting that it may not subside from levels last seen in the 1970 and 1980s for several years.

The Bank of England governor said: ‘Domestic inflationary pressures have also remained strong. Firms generally report that they expect to increase their selling prices markedly, reflecting the sharp rise in their costs.

‘The labour market remains tight with the unemployment rate of 3.8% in the three months to May and vacancies at historical high levels.

‘The tightness of the labour market partly reflects the fall in the labour force since the start of the pandemic, which is in part due to the large rise in economic inactivity’.

The dire economic conditions will see real household incomes drop for two years in a row, the first time this has happened since records began in the 1960s. They will drop by 1.5% this year and 2.25%, wiping out any wage rises.

Officials on the monetary policy committee (MPC) raised the base interest rate from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent as experts warned inflation could be heading for 15 per cent. The Bank predicts it will be 13 per cent.

Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics, argues interest rates may need to rise as high as 3 per cent to tackle inflation.

He told the Telegraph: ‘We think the battle is far from over and that rates may peak at 3 per cent rather than the 2 per cent expected by most economists.’

Professor Stephen Millard agreed rates would have to rise to 3 per cent, stating: ‘The UK economy is heading into a period of stagflation with high inflation and a recession hitting the economy simultaneously.’

He said the Bank of England will need to raise interest rates to 3 per cent, a move which will increase government debt and hit homeowners.

The Bank of England insists the rise is necessary to try to bring down inflation by next year –  but it comes as Britons face the worse squeeze on household budgets for a generation. 

It said the UK will enter five consecutive quarters of recession with gross domestic product falling as much as 2.1% – compared to 6% per in 2008.

The rise is the largest since the Bank gained independence from the Treasury in 27 years, and the first 0.5 percentage point hike since 1995. The MPC of nine members voted eight to one in favour of a rise to 1.75%.

The rate increase will immediately hit 20 per cent of homeowners with mortgages – around two million people. It will add around £90-a-month to the average mortgage of around £150,000. 80 per cent of homeowners are on fixed deals, so will be protected in the short term, but a third of these people will lose these deals within two years, meaning higher payments are on the horizon for millions more.

The Bank believes that inflation will peak at the end of the year or early 2023 and drop again by 2025

The Bank believes that inflation will peak at the end of the year or early 2023 and drop again by 2025

The Bank of England has increased interest rates from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent

The Bank of England has increased interest rates from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent

A Cornwall Insight forecast shows the energy price cap will stay higher than £3,300 from October to at least the start of 2024 and could even hit £4,000

A Cornwall Insight forecast shows the energy price cap will stay higher than £3,300 from October to at least the start of 2024 and could even hit £4,000

The Bank of England has predicted that inflation will reach 13% in the coming months

The Bank of England has predicted that inflation will reach 13% in the coming months

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson and Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi are on holiday despite warnings of inflation further soaring and of the economy entering the longest recession since the financial crisis.

With ministers taking a back seat as the Tory party is gripped by the leadership contest, both men were away from Westminster when the Bank of England detailed the brutal outlook.

Mr Zahawi was said to be still working and had a call with Governor Andrew Bailey after interest rates were hiked from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent, the biggest increase for 27 years.

But Labour accused the Chancellor and the Prime Minister of being ‘missing in action’ as the cost-of-living crisis deepened further, with the Bank forecasting inflation could peak at 13.3 per cent.

Shadow treasury minister Abena Oppong-Asare said: ‘Families and pensioners are worried sick about how they’ll pay their bills, but the Prime Minister and Chancellor are missing in action.

‘The fact they’re both on holiday on the day the Bank of England forecasts the longest recession in 30 years speaks volumes about the Tories’ warped priorities.’

In a statement, Mr Zahawi said: ‘For me, like I’m sure lots of others, there is no such thing as a holiday and not working. I never had that in the private sector, not in government.

‘Ask any entrepreneur and they can tell you that. Millions of us dream about getting away with our families but the privilege and responsibility of public service means that you never get to switch off, that’s why I have had calls and briefings every day and continue to do so.’

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokeswoman Layla Moran added: ‘At a time of national crisis we deserve better than these shirkers. Time and again they have been absent in the country’s time of need.

‘The very least the British people can ask for is a Chancellor and Prime Minister who will explain how they got us into this mess and what the plan is to solve it.’

The rising price of gas has been blames for forcing a recession as it hits household and business spending

The rising price of gas has been blames for forcing a recession as it hits household and business spending

A major slowdown in China, which is pursuing zero covid, is also hitting the world economy as the global supply chain tightens

A major slowdown in China, which is pursuing zero covid, is also hitting the world economy as the global supply chain tightens 

This chart lays bare the amount of inflationary pressure caused by expensive wholesale gas prices

This chart lays bare the amount of inflationary pressure caused by expensive wholesale gas prices

research published by the Bank shows that households plan to cut back on spending, fuel use and journeys due to the rising cost of living in the UK

research published by the Bank shows that households plan to cut back on spending, fuel use and journeys due to the rising cost of living in the UK

A growth in household income will be outstripped by rising inflation

A growth in household income will be outstripped by rising inflation

Economics at the think tank say market prices for core goods such as oil, corn and wheat have also now fallen since their peak earlier this year, but these prices have now yet been reflected in consumer costs and remain much higher than in January

Economics at the think tank say market prices for core goods such as oil, corn and wheat have also now fallen since their peak earlier this year, but these prices have now yet been reflected in consumer costs and remain much higher than in January

The value of the pound dropped 0.05% lower against the US dollar at 1.211 shortly after the Bank of England’s rate rise was confirmed, having been 0.7% higher ahead of the announcement.

The pound has dropped 0.5% against the euro to 1.189.

In minutes from the rates decision meeting, the Bank said the majority of the MPC felt a ‘more forceful policy action was justified’.

It said: ‘Against the backdrop of another jump in energy prices, there had been indications that inflationary pressures were becoming more persistent and broadening to more domestically driven sectors.’

‘Overall, a faster pace of policy tightening at this meeting would help to bring inflation back to the 2% target sustainably in the medium term, and to reduce the risks of a more extended and costly tightening cycle later,’ the Bank added.

It is yet another blow to personal finances. Inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.4 per cent in June, well over its 2 per cent target.  It could peak at 15 per cent at the start of next year, experts warned amid concerns over a ‘highly uncertain’ outlook largely driven by unpredictable gas prices which are obliterating household budgets.

The dire economic conditions will see real household incomes drop for two years in a row, the first time this has happened since records began in the 1960s. They will drop by 1.5% this year and 2.25% next.

However, the recession will at least be shallower than the 2008 crash, with GDP dropping up to 2.1% from its highest point.

The Bank said the depth of the drop is more comparable to the recession in the early 1990s.

Mr Bailey said there was an ‘economic cost to the war’ in Ukraine.

‘But I have to be clear, it will not deflect us from setting monetary policy to bring inflation back to the 2% target,’ he said.

He admitted that the economic outlook for growth and inflation may be even more grim if energy prices rise higher than the current dire predictions.

He said: ‘Wholesale gas futures prices for the end of this year… have nearly doubled since May,’ he said.

They are ‘almost seven times higher’ than forecasts had suggested a year ago, he added.

‘That’s overwhelmingly a consequence of Russia’s restriction of gas supplies to Europe and the risk of further cuts.’

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