Video: Yorkshire business figures in call to hold interest rates

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The Bank of England should not extend its £325bn stimulus programme, according to leading figures in the Yorkshire business community.

Members of the Yorkshire Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which meets in Leeds to discuss the national economic picture, also decided interest rates should be held at 0.5 per cent, although there was a minority suggestion that rates should be moved upwards to compensate for the greater cost of borrowing. The Yorkshire Shadow MPC is a joint initiative between Lee & Priestley and the Yorkshire Post.

Concerns were raised that growth in confidence earlier in the year had been undermined by recent GDP figures. Mark Stuart, a political columnist, said the question of whether the UK is or is not in a recession had been “damaging”.

Nimble Thompson, chairman of Ilkley-based building services firm NG Bailey and non-executive director at the Institute of Directors (IoD) said: “We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that a lot of small and medium-sized businesses actually are doing okay, especially in this part of the world.”

Four members of the panel voted for more quantitative easing, while five voted against.

Jonathan Oxley, managing partner at Lee & Priestley, who chaired the discussion, said members who voted against more quantitative easing were concerned about inflation. The TUC and FSB were also represented on the panel.