Whilst partaking this week in a brief sojourn in Spain, I found myself in the same hotel as the football team Cordoba FC. Having imparted my Harry Rednappesque pearls of wisdom, ‘Don’t tell the taxman anything ….’ (That was a joke Harry, you can send your libel lawyer back to his golf club), I found myself comparing the realities of life with what our national newspapers were choosing to report. As the pound has been sent on a meteorite-like trajectory against the euro to reach its highest level since 2007, the news has chorused how the British can now have their cheapest holidays for years. £500 now buys you close to 700 euros, which is 132 euros more than two years ago. The cost of a 5 euro drink has now fallen to £3.60. So why change £500? Why not change just £440 and still benefit from the strength of the pound once you have cleared Customs? If you take the money, however strong the pound is against Johnny Foreigner you will spend it. All of it. Just look at my bank balance after being away with the current Mrs Chesh.
This encouragement to buy industrial quantities of sun cream was accompanied by dire warnings from the Governor of The Bank of England (BOE), Mark Carney. Interest rates will rise in the near future and those borrowers who took out mortgages at rates lower then One Direction wear their trousers will be in mortal danger as they have never experienced a sudden increase in costs. Let’s look at this. If someone obtained a mortgage at rock bottom rates, they either took it out after the crash at which time they would have been subject to stress testing and the mortgage market review to see if they can still afford the mortgage should rates rise, so the buffer is built in to the original mortgage offer; or they have strapped themselves up with Porch finance that they acquired after obtaining their original mortgage. A little dishonest? Very much so, but lenders do still seem to think that they are worthy of an honesty not often seen outside the confessional. Let’s face it; what are three Hail Mary’s in comparison to having your home repossessed…Is that the Holy See calling..? The BOE are apparently worried that any rise in interest rates will halt the recovery. So why do it then? On the basis that the economy is recovering why change things to put it in jeopardy? I have a theory: George/Gideon and Mark are muckers-one was given his job by the other- and last week a whole range of cuts to our benefit system were announced (‘about bloody time’, I hear the masses cry). Maybe, just maybe, the announcement that interest rates will go up at some time is Mark helping out his mate to prove that we are all in it together. Speaking of changing things, having watched Cordoba train this week, I now understand why they are flopping about in the murky depths of the pond that is the Second Division of the Spanish League. Boys, If I can see that you need to make some changes, it isn’t so much broken but almost beyond repair.