Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates

Ben Brogan, reporting comments by Conservative MP and former George Osborne advisor Matthew Hancock, has argued that the Coalition’s fiscal policies have lowered interest rates; here we show he is wrong.

Talking nonsense: Ben Brogan and Matthew Hancock

Ben Brogan, reporting comments by Conservative MP and former George Osborne advisor Matthew Hancock, has argued that the Coalition’s fiscal policies have lowered interest rates.

Brogan writes:

“On March 24, the date of Alistair Darling’s last Budget, two- and three-year rates were 1.205pc and 1.855pc respectively; on election day they were at 1.076 and 1.687; on June 22, George Osborne’s first Budget, 0.784 and 1.292; yesterday they were at 0.68 and 0.96. Ten year borrowing is down from 3.96 to 2.91.”

Whilst yields have fallen across the curve, this is not necessarily the result of Mr Osborne’s budget.

During the same time period, US two-year and three-year rates have fallen from 1.08 per cent and 1.67 per cent on March 24th, to 0.77 per cent and 1.21 per cent on June 22nd and are currently at 0.47 per cent and 0.72 per cent.

They have more than halved, despite Barack Obama not only not cutting now but actually proposing a further stimulus. There is no evidence for Mr Hancock’s claim that the Chancellor’s policies have reduced interest rates.

The West Suffolk MP further argues the falls in two-year and three year rates will mean lower mortgage payments:

“Interest rates on borrowing for 2 years or 3 years – the sort of rates fixed mortgages are based on – have halved. That’s a huge economic boost to families and businesses up and down the country.”

However Bank of England data shows that three-year fixed mortgage rates have only fallen from 4.68 per cent in March to 4.38 per cent in August. Whilst this fall is of course welcome, it is not as large as Hancock suggests.

On a typical £150,000 mortgage it represents an annual saving of £450 annually, easily swallowed by the £500 per household hit from the increase in VAT.

16 Responses to “Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates”

  1. Shamik Das

    Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz reports @DuncanWeldon on @leftfootfwd

  2. Larry Gardiner

    RT @leftfootfwd: Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz reports @DuncanWeldon

  3. Will Straw

    Why @benedictbrogan is wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz by @DuncanWeldon for @leftfootfwd

  4. Duncan Weldon

    RT @shamikdas: Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz reports @DuncanWeldon on @leftfootfwd

  5. Jack Stone

    RT @leftfootfwd: Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates http://bit.ly/cU2zVz

  6. Mehdi Hasan

    RT @shamikdas: Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz reports @DuncanWeldon on @leftfootfwd

  7. Danny Carrington

    "Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates" http://bit.ly/cPBTER

  8. richdavidson

    RT @shamikdas: Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz reports @DuncanWeldon on @leftfootfwd

  9. Michelle Graham

    RT @shamikdas: Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz reports @DuncanWeldon on @leftfootfwd

  10. Dominic Smith

    RT @wdjstraw: Why @benedictbrogan is wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz by @DuncanWeldon for @le …

  11. Mr. Sensible

    Further to that, I will be interested to see what the VAT increase does to inflation, and thus, interest rates.

  12. Peter Roberts

    RT @shamikdas: Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz reports @DuncanWeldon on @leftfootfwd

  13. yorkierosie

    RT @shamikdas: Brogan wrong to credit Osborne with lowering interest rates: http://bit.ly/cU2zVz reports @DuncanWeldon on @leftfootfwd

  14. mike

    ireland has made all the cuts demanded in UK
    yet their credit rating has gone down

    the biggest impact has been construction – Broken

  15. An economics lesson for Matt Hancock | Left Foot Forward

    […] gilts was falling while Labour was still in office and this decline has had very little impact on mortgage rates or bank lending. In any case, this needn’t be seen as a sign of confidence in either Darling […]

Leave a Reply