INFLATION and its trajectory in the coming months was the subject of a robust discussion between Sir Tom Hunter and Lord Willie Haughey on The Go Radio Business Show yesterday.

Sir Tom, alluding to comments made by the boss of clothing retailer Next, Simon Wolfson, considered how the effect of the increase in National Insurance contributions in April and a possible rise in mortgage rates would have on consumer spending, and if a return to spending on overseas holidays would impact on demand for discretionary goods at home.

Good entrepreneurs, he said, would find ways around the challenges because they “get stuck in and know their customers” although he admitted that the year ahead remained “challenging” for businesses.

Sir Tom said he did not align to the Bank of England’s estimate that inflation will reach 6-7 per cent by the spring, suggesting that it will stay below that level. He added that increasing mortgage rates would “add to the misery”.

Meanwhile, Labour peer Lord Haughey said: “The BoE target of 7% should be worrying for everyone.”

He pointed out that for the first time for 10 years, his business was forecasting growth of just 2% rather than 10-12%. “This is down to one thing,” said Lord Haughey. “Our business development people can’t get in front of people because of travel restrictions.”

But he predicted that all Covid restrictions would be lifted within the next few months.

Along with guests from the Scottish business community, The Go Radio Business Show features business advice and insight from Sir Tom and Lord Haughey on Sunday mornings.