Source - SMW
The government is being urged to launch an inquiry into the effects of lower interest rates by former pensions minister Ros Altmann.

She says it is time for a proper national debate about the impacts of monetary policy.

Altmann says quantitative easing was an emergency policy to stave off depression but says it is a huge monetary experiment which must not be considered as 'normal' policymaking.

She says: "The latest round of rate cuts and QE may well have been a mistake - in August 2016 we were not facing economic collapse and the negative side-effects need to be considered."

Altmann says monetary policy may not be working as theory predicts as banks have failed to pass on lower rates to many borrowers, while savings rates have fallen sharply. Credit card, overdraft and even SVR mortgage rates have RISEN over the past 5 years.

She adds: "Lower rates and QE are supposed to be expansionary but also have deflationary effects as they reduce disposable incomes for both households and some corporates.

"QE has damaged UK Defined Benefit pension schemes and placed higher costs on firms."

And she sayd QE has increased annuity costs significantly which also damages defined contribution pension income.

"Distributional effects of QE may have political implications as ordinary savers and renters suffer while QE helps the wealthiest, perhaps feeding public dissatisfaction," says Altmann.