Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, says “This may be seen as an unusual step at this time of the year, especially with the latest variant spreading across the country and further Covid measures coming into force. The inevitable interest rate rise may have been something that many believed would not happen this side of the new year but, with inflation outpacing government targets, it appears there was little choice for the MPC this month.

“Although the unemployment rate continues to fall and wage-growth has picked up, the cost of living is increasing all the time and we are already seeing serious mortgage arrears rising and house prices starting to level out. We are once again heading into the new year with a huge level of uncertainty with many questions for which there are no answers at the moment. Will there be further lockdowns? Can the government even afford for that to happen again? It has to be said that if we don’t get Covid under control 2022 is going to be a struggle for many.”