Rishi Sunak accused of wasting £11bn on public debt blunder
A leading economic research group has singled out Rishi Sunak for wasting £11billion of taxpayers’ money.
The National Institute for Economic and Social Research says the Chancellor was caught off guard by failing to insure against higher interest rates a year ago on £895billion of money created through quantitative easing.
Jagjit Chadha, director of Niesr, said Mr Sunak’s decisions had left the UK with “a huge bill and continued high exposure to interest rate risk”, adding that it was the fault of the Treasury.
The losses, reported by the Financial Times, will pose a new headache for the Chancellor as he faces scrutiny over his response to the cost of living crisis.
The Treasury said: “We have a clear funding strategy to meet government funding needs, which we set independently of monetary policy decisions by the Bank of England.”
5 things to start your day
1) Steak shortages loom as fertilizer prices soar: Prices have already risen 5% on the year, but are now expected to explode.
2) Asia’s richest man bids £5bn for Boots: Mukesh Ambani already owns English country club Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire and toy retailer Hamleys.
3) Christine Lagarde signals the end of the era of negative interest rates in the eurozone: European interest rates should rise for the first time since 2011, against their current level of -0.5 pc.
4) Swedish sex toy maker waives £1bn London float: Lelo will look for a buyer instead, blaming market volatility.
5) Deloitte denies failing to protect ex-employee from bullying: A former worker says she now suffers from mental health issues after being ‘harassed’.
What happened overnight
Hong Kong shares opened sharply lower this morning, with the Hang Seng index dropping 1.6pc.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.8pc and the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second largest stock exchange fell 0.6pc.
Tokyo shares opened lower and the benchmark Nikkei 225 was down 1pc.
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- Economy: Retail, PMI Services (UK); Factory orders (Germany); Consumer credit (WE)