The Realities of Affordability: A Thought-Provoking Address by Andrew Bailey
The Bank of England Needs to Listen to the People: An Opinionated Take on the Latest Inflation Data
As the latest data release for the UK consumer price index shows an annual increase of 10.1% in January, it’s easy for policymakers to get lost in the numbers. However, more than ever, it’s vital to hear the human stories behind the data to understand the real impact on people’s lives. The Bank of England’s outreach programs take us closer to this reality by listening to people from all parts of the United Kingdom.
Bank of England Outreach Programmes
The Bank of England’s outreach programs include:
- A citizens’ forum consisting of 12 regional panels, each chaired by a devoted volunteer from the local community, and currently counting 4,000 members
- Community forums for charities and the people they support
- A youth forum specifically for young people aged 16 to 25
These programs are events where Bank of England representatives talk with and listen to people from all walks of life. In a report published today, the chairs of the regional panels have set out some of the high-level themes from those conversations.
Listening to people from all parts of the United Kingdom
It’s essential to hear what people say rather than only being confined to the numbers. It’s a sobering reality when we understand the challenges people face from inflation. For example, a young woman shared her story of juggling studies with caring responsibilities for her parents at a recent citizens’ panel in Leeds. Higher transport, food, and heating costs had left her struggling to cope, let alone to make the most of her time at university.
In Manchester, a carer told us how higher fuel prices had eaten into her pay as she relied on private transport to deliver vital services to vulnerable people. A woman at our panel in Durham told us how she received her pay every week and struggled to budget for her monthly direct debits. All these stories highlight the challenges inflation brings to people’s daily lives.
- The Bank of England increased Bank Rate by nearly four percentage points over the past 15 months to help bring inflation back down to the 2% target.
- Consumer price inflation remains too high, and it is essential to bring it down to its target.
- The Bank of England was founded in 1694 and targets to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom.
Listening to people from all parts of the United Kingdom is necessary for the Bank of England to understand the impact of their policies. Of course, bringing inflation down is essential, but policymakers cannot forget the human stories behind the data. Understanding people’s challenges is vital when setting policies that affect their daily lives.
The Bank of England’s outreach programs help to establish a connection between policymakers and people from all walks of life. It’s essential to hear firsthand how inflation impacts people’s daily lives. The Bank of England’s mission to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom cannot be achieved without listening to people’s stories. Inflation numbers are just a part of the story, but hearing people’s stories helps policymakers make more informed decisions.