Dan Norris

West of England residents face more cost-of-living woe today as the Bank of England hiked interest rates to a new 15-year high – and warned of more to come.

The base rate has been pushed up 0.25 percentage points to 4.5%, heaping pain on thousands of mortgage-payers in the West. It is the 12th consecutive bump, and a peak since October 2008.

Residents with variable rate mortgages will face immediate increases in their bills, while West of England Combined Authority data suggests there are over 25,000 West of England households with fixed term mortgages ending by the end of 2023 – and so who face dramatically higher mortgage costs later in the year.

Responding to the news, the Mayor accused ministers of destroying many people’s dreams of getting on the housing ladder in the West of England while “sowing the seeds” of yet more unaffordable bills for thousands in his region.

He pointed to former prime minister Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget last year which sent mortgage costs spiralling, with households in the West, and across the country, having paid £1.05 billion in higher mortgage payments since Truss’s ill-fated stint in office, according to new research.

Separately, the Bank also today admitted it may take longer than expected to bring inflation down in the long-term – in yet more grim news for hard-pressed West locals.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “People in the West of England will be wracked with anxiety by this news. This Downing Street mortgage penalty is leaving families worse off, and has destroyed the dreams of home ownership for so many. Enough is enough – ministers need to get a grip. First things first, they should finally listen to my calls and bring in a proper windfall tax on the enormous profits of oil and gas giants now to support hard-pressed residents in the West, and so lift them out of this crisis.”

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