Mel Stride MP, who chairs the influential House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, argued forcefully in the House of Commons today on about the need for the Bank of England to retain its independence. His intervention came after recent suggestions from some parliamentarians that it should be curtailed.
Speaking during a debate on the Financial Services and Markets Bill currently going through Parliament, Mr Stride defended the record of the bank over the past 20 years and argued against those who have been overly critical of its record on inflation in recent months. Mr Stride acknowledged that the Bank was “not perfect” but that no central bank would have fared better given unprecedented global pressures on prices few of which could have been predicted. He argued:
“It is vital that the Bank of England maintains its independence, that politicians are kept out of monetary policy and that politicians and chancellors do not determine interest rates going forward if we are going to have a credible approach to monetary policy.”
In response, Richard Fuller MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury reassured Mr Stride that the Government had no plans to review the Bank of England’s independence.
Earlier in the debate Mr Stride spoke of seizing the opportunity now we have left the European Union for a “lighter touch” on regulation for businesses.