Banking chief told ‘safety net is stretched’

Representatives from Boston's charity sector with the Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane (centre, back).
Representatives from Boston's charity sector with the Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane (centre, back).

‘Safety net support organisations are being stretched more than ever’ a banking leader visiting Boston has been told.

Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist, was meeting with charity leaders, including Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS), Boston Mayflower Housing Association, Boston Food Bank, Centrepoint homeless charity, Citizen’s Advice, the Credit Union and Boston Big Local.

Mr Haldane, who is also executive director for Monetary Analysis, Research and Statistics and a member of LCVS’s Monetary Policy Committee, was in the area on Friday to look at the state of the economy at a local level and how interest rate decisions affect society as well as business.

LCVS chief executive David Fannin said: “As a result of this discussion, the bank confirmed it has decided to widen its reach and make this a regular feature of its intelligence gathering 
activity.

“Andy Haldane was interested in just how much squeeze is happening due to austerity when judging how well the economy is doing and setting interest rates.

“Following an open and honest discussion, he left with an impending sense of ‘safety net’ support organisations being stretched more than ever before and increasing numbers of people facing personal crisis.

“The recovery is fragile in places like Boston.

“Support for the sector at this time is more important than ever, with funding cuts and austerity having a big effect and shifting demand as we try to support the most vulnerable.”

A similar discussion also took place last year and Mr Haldane told those attending that the bank wants to follow developments and see how the picture has progressed in early 2018.