So much for groupthink. The Bank of England rate-setters are now split three ways. Is that a sign of healthy debate? Sadly, not — more a reflection of the muddle at the heart of Britain’s economy, with fiscal and monetary policy pulling in opposite directions.
That the governor Andrew Bailey and his eight monetary policy committee pals should be holding back ammo ahead of today’s mini-budget is understandable. Despite a national insurance cut, plus mooted corporation tax reprieves and fresh stamp duty fireworks, no one yet knows the full extent of Kwasi Kwarteng’s largesse. Indeed, that may be unclear for a while, given the chancellor has shamelessly gagged the Office for Budget Responsibility — just in case it puts the damper on his growth plans.