‘We are already running on borrowed time’: Ex-Tory deputy PM Lord Heseltine says UK economy is facing a ‘very nasty situation’ this winter as he accuses ministers of ‘lurching from crisis to crisis’
- Lord Heseltine said that if he was Chancellor he would be ‘extremely worried’
- Former deputy PM said crises for industry are likely to occur ‘thick and fast’
- The peer said that the UK economy is facing a ‘very nasty situation’ this winter
Lord Heseltine today warned the UK economy is facing a ‘very nasty situation’ this winter as he accused the Government of ‘lurching from crisis to crisis’.
The former Tory deputy prime minister said the economy is ‘already running on borrowed time’ following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said if he was Chancellor of the Exchequer he would be ‘extremely worried’ as he predicted further crises will develop ‘thick and fast’ in the coming months.
The peer claimed Boris Johnson is ‘patently not in control’ of what he described as a ‘very complicated situation’.
His remarks came as the Government continues to wrestle with a number of problems, including a surge in energy prices, fuel shortages and food supply chain disruption.
Lord Heseltine today warned the UK economy is facing a ‘very nasty situation’ this winter as he accused the Government of ‘lurching from crisis to crisis’
The peer claimed Boris Johnson is ‘patently not in control’ of what he described as a ‘very complicated situation’
The Bank of England has cautioned that rising gas prices are likely to push inflation above four per cent by the end of this year – double the Bank’s target of two per cent.
Lord Heseltine expressed concerns this morning that the increase in inflation will eventually prompt a hike in interest rates which could hit many mortgage holders hard.
He also predicted key industries will face further moments of crisis this winter.
He told Sky News: ‘I think that we are heading to a significant increase in inflation which will lead to increases in interest rates and if I was Chancellor of the Exchequer I would be extremely worried about all the demands which are, you heard the Labour spokesman now, classic Labour spokesman, spend more money, £6billion on the Universal Credit, subsidise the gas industry.
‘These crises for industry are going to come now in fast and thick in the ensuing months.
‘And every time there will be a demand for more taxpayers’ money.
‘What of course they never tell you, the economists are all writing about it, is that sooner or later there is going to be interest rates increases which of course will impact very dramatically on very large numbers of people, particularly those with mortgages.
‘This is a very nasty situation, it is a very complicated situation and I could well understand the Government’s reluctance to introduce what will always be called a temporary palliative.
‘These palliatives are never temporary. They become built into the system and we are already running on borrowed time, so to speak, in economic terms.’
Lord Heseltine’s remarks came as the Government continues to wrestle with a number of problems, including a surge in energy prices, fuel shortages and food supply chain disruption
Lord Heseltine had the Tory whip suspended in May 2019 after a Brexit row and he currently sits in the House of Lords as a non-affiliated peer.
He took aim at Mr Johnson’s leadership as he criticised the Prime Minister for failing to set out in detail his plans for ‘levelling up’ the country.
He said: ‘Just take the phrase “take back control”. That is what we were told Brexit would do. Take back control.
‘Can you show me any area where you think this Government has actually achieved a greater degree of control?
‘It is lurching from crisis to crisis and it is patently not in control.’