The North East shadow MPC voted by a majority of two to raise interest rates. Inflation was on everyone’s mind but opinions were mixed as to whether an interest rate rise would curb it or do more damage than good.

The shadow MPC is a partnership between The Northern Echo and Clive Owen LLP, which gives experts the opportunity to argue their case

Nicola Bellerby, tax partner at Clive Owen LLP said: “I am voting for another rise in interest rates. I think the rate will need to rise incrementally as inflation reaches a peak.

“The Bank of England’s priority needs to be more about tempering inflation than worrying about levels of investment.

Read more: Thirteen Housing Group in the North East to see staff strike over pay

“Fuel, energy and food prices continue to soar as inflation has hit its highest level in 40 years. The Government face a difficult choice between placating the electorate and reducing business taxes.”

David Coates MD Newsquest LOCALiQ North said: “I’d vote to increase rates by 1%. Inflation shows no signs of abatement, and I disagree with the Government’s assessment that what we’re seeing is a temporary spike.”

Chris McDonald, chief executive officer, Materials Processing Institute said: “Given the high rise in the cost of living, contemplating an interest rate rise is difficult. However, it is the constant threat of inflation, eroding business competitiveness and living standards still further that is my greatest concern and so my vote is for another increase.”

Paul Gibson of Active Chartered Financial Planners said: “We need to sit back and digest the recent rate increases in these uncertain times. As a financial planning firm, we are seeing increasing volatility in investment and pension portfolios at all risk profiles with negative returns year to date. This is despite many global companies posting consistent and growing profits. Further rate increases could lead to falls in the housing market and a rise in unemployment therefore my vote would be to leave rates at the current rate at this time.”

Graham Robb, senior partner at Recognition PR, voted to freeze the interest rate saying: “An upward vote now would be using weapons that should have been deployed last year and will make no impact on inflation, which is expected to come down later in the year anyway. It would just inflict more pain on businesses and households.”

Catriona Lingwood, chief executive of Constructing Excellence said: “This is really difficult, but with inflation continuing to rise at a rapid rate I think the Base Rate should be increased. All indications are that it will close at 1.5-2% by the end of 2022 so I’d increase it by 0.25-0.5% this month to try and stabilise inflation.”

Paul Davison, managing director of data analytics and testing specialists Seriös Group, said that he would vote for an interest rate rise, adding: “The current rate of inflation is unsustainable. Australia’s central bank has already increased interest rates in that country by the biggest margin in more than 20 years to try to get inflation under control, whilst the World Bank warns of weak growth and high inflation similar to that experienced in the 1970’s.

“Due to the impact of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, we are seeing an unprecedented cost of living crisis that is impacting on everyone and something must be done to try and address it sooner rather than later.”

Nick Pope, managing director of Premier Tech Aqua, said: “I vote to hold for now due to the fact that I don't think a rise will actually do anything to bring inflation down, due to the external shocks which are driving it. It will merely exacerbate the cost of living crisis.”