Jeremy Hunt Clashes With BBC Presenter Over Whether Liz Truss Is To Blame For High Mortgages

The chancellor challenged Charlie Stayt's claim that the mini-budget had caused higher interest rates.

Jeremy Hunt has suggested that Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget was not to blame for soaring mortgage bills.

The chancellor clashed with BBC Breakfast presenter Charlie Stayt after he said interest rates were still “stubbornly high” because of what the previous prime minister did.

But Hunt insisted that the pandemic and the war in Ukraine - not Truss - had led to mortgage repayments going up - and hinted that Stayt was being biased.

The chancellor’s comments appeared to fly in the face of what happened in the immediate aftermath of the mini-budget in September 2022, when the financial system went into meltdown and interest rates went up.

Stayt told him: “People will be well aware of the reality of where your Conservative government has taken them in terms of their household budgets.

“They will be looking at mortgages, which remain stubbornly high because of what a former Conservative prime minister did.

’They’ll be looking at the reality of inflation, that may be coming down now but the living cost of that remains higher. That happened under your administration.”

An irritated Hunt replied: “Well Charlie I really would challenge you, and I know the BBC is fiercely impartial, on making statement like you’ve just said because if the higher mortgage rates were as a result of Liz Truss, why is it that living standards have fallen further in Germany or Austria or Sweden?

“The reason why we’ve had 11% inflation and interest rates had to go up is because of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and a global pandemic.”

Butting in, Stayt said: “I’m going to have to interrupt you there because you challenge what we are saying there. Are you suggesting there was and is no connection between what Liz Truss did as prime minister ... and the interest rates that people are now or will be paying when their fixed rates end?”

The chancellor replied: “I reversed the decisions that she took and that’s why you can see that the reason interest rates went up was because of global factors - I think most people understand that.”


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