"The MPC was in a very difficult position. There have understandably been calls for a rise this month, because pensioners and savers are still suffering as a result of the rate having been stuck at 0.5 per cent since March 2009.
"And although the low rates combined with inflation makes it very tough for those trying to live off income from their savings, I think sticking at 0.5 per cent was the right decision. The economy is not yet strong enough to cope with a rise – the recovery is still too sketchy. In December's vote, only one member out of nine voted for a rate rise, as the majority of the monetary committee were happy that there was sufficient capacity in the economy to lead to a reduction in inflation over the medium term, to enable them to leave rates where they were.
"This year will see thousands more redundancies in the public sector; a rise could see people locked out of their homes. Although the decision is not supposed to be politically motivated, it would have been risky to raise rates now. I can’t see the rate moving for the rest of this year."