Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Martin Hathaway has warned that the Bank of England’s decision to increase interest rates risks doing more harm than good to businesses in Huddersfield, Halifax and Wakefield.

The Huddersfield-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce is a local voice for growth, connecting, supporting and representing its members through relevant and valuable support. 

The Bank of England admits the UK faces a “sharp economic slowdown” this year as it raises interest rates to try to stem the pace of rising prices. 

Rates have risen to 1% from 0.75%, their highest level since 2009, and the fourth consecutive increase since December. 

Mr Hathaway said: “The decision to raise interest rates will cause considerable alarm among households and businesses across Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield, given the rapidly deteriorating economic outlook and mounting cost pressures many are facing. 

“The Bank of England face an unenviable trade-off between soaring inflation and a wilting economy. 

“However, higher interest rates will do little to address the global headwinds and supply constraints driving this inflationary surge.  

“It also raises the risk of recession by damaging confidence and intensifying the financial squeeze on businesses and consumers. 

“With monetary policy continuing to tighten, it is vital the fiscal policy is now loosened to ease the crippling cost pressures faced by consumers and businesses, and to support wider economic activity. 

“Urgent action is needed to limit the unprecedented surge in costs facing businesses, including financial support for those struggling with soaring energy bills.”