Blog: Brexit hitting economy as MPs give speeches for cash – HeraldScotland

Speaking on the Go Radio Business Show with Hunter & Haughey, Lord Willie Haughey was keen to first highlight the positives.

“There seem to be some good signs in the economy at the moment.

“We look as if we’ve reached a peak in where interest rates are going to go. That’s got to be good for business,” he said.

The show’s co-host Sir Tom Hunter was less optimistic, commenting: “What do they say about economists and their predictions? Economists have predicted nine out of the past six recessions. The fact is we’re putting up interest rates because we’re trying to control inflation.

“Everybody agrees inflation is a really bad thing – however interest rates are a blunt measure. They’re less effective than they used to be for controlling inflation.

“From everything I’ve read interest rates are sitting at 3.5% today and I believe they’re going to peak at 4%. So I think there’s a 50bip increase still to come, maybe in February, then I think they’ll gradually come down. But it does all depend on inflation.”

Lord Haughey disagreed. “I actually think it could peak somewhere between four and a half and five. I think 4.75% probably looks likely and, to be fair, the way things looked last year, we’d bite your hand off for that. We were living in a false world when things were at 0.25% and that’s created a lot of the problems we are having at moment.

“If we were talking last year, I thought there was a chance maybe of interest rates going at seven, maybe seven and a half. So I’ll be delighted if they stay at 4.75%.

“However we must learn from this. A lot of people have to take a look at themselves and see how the world was for them while the interest rates were at 0.25%.”

Adding to financial predictions for 2023, Sir Tom forecast the UK having the worst economic growth of any G7 Nation. He said: “We have been consistent on this theme and I think it’s finally going to come to out this year that Brexit is a big contributor to this situation. It is obvious we were lied to by politicians on making a huge decision to leave Europe. But these politicians just dance off and do their speeches and live a good life while Britain suffers.”

Lord Haughey agreed but added: “The one green shoot I see here are some signs that the Northern Ireland Protocol may get sorted and that’s good. Brussels actually talking at the moment to the UK Government is hopefully a step in the right direction.

“However the war in Ukraine has masked over all of this: the absolute diabolical state the economy is in because of Brexit. We were lied to but, to be fair, some of our MPs are simply too busy. They are too busy doing other jobs getting paid £17.1 million.

“I couldn’t believe the reports. Who would ever have imagined Theresa May was such an expert on travel and holidays that she would get £106,000 for doing a speech in Saudi Arabia?”

Sir Tom concluded: “The bottom line is this: you cannot kid anyone that all of this is not simply a form of lobbying. Anybody who says otherwise is absolutely having a laugh.

“My own opinion is that it’s fine if you’re writing a book or whatever you might do, but to go and accept £200,000 or £300,000?

“How can the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson be paid over a million pounds while the country is falling apart? And it’s not just him. There are loads of people getting that.

“I think MPs should not be allowed to have second jobs. I think we should pay them more.”

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