It seems that former prime minister Liz Truss is not a great fan of the “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” wisdom.

Ms Truss offered her opinion last Monday that Andrew Bailey should not still be in his role as Governor of the Bank of England and declared the setting of interest rates should be put in political hands.

There is, of course, much room for debate on whether Mr Bailey and his colleagues on the nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England staffers and external members alike, have really overdone the interest-rate medicine amid the UK’s inflation crisis.

This is a very important issue indeed.

However, what Ms Truss proposes is, quite frankly, terrifying.

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It is a much more frightening suggestion now than it would have been back in the days before Gordon Brown gave the Bank of England independence in setting interest rates in 1997 as the incoming Labour chancellor.

What has made it much more alarming is what we have seen from the Conservatives on the economy since 2010, although we should also remember the utterly ill-judged policies on this front from the Tories in the 1980s and the shambles of the early 1990s.

Focusing on the post-2010 situation, the Conservatives’ policymaking has been ideologically entrenched, from austerity to Brexit, and it has been most damaging to the economy.

The idea that politicians could get their hands on setting interest rates again is not an appetising one.

It is particularly notable that the suggestion came from Ms Truss, who was prime minister for a matter of weeks in the autumn of 2022 when the Tories delivered a mini-Budget which had huge effects, and not good ones, on financial markets and ultimately the real economy.

Of course, it is important to bear in mind that, while Ms Truss stands out when it comes to financial market turbulence, Tory prime ministers and chancellors other than her and Kwasi Kwarteng, who delivered the 2022 mini-Budget, have also done a dismal job on the economy since 2010. That includes incumbents Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt.

Returning to the Bank of England’s independence in setting interest rates, it has in recent times been difficult to see where the upside risks to inflation that the MPC has highlighted have been in reality.

Base-year effects were always going to mean a very sharp fall in inflation.

Overdoing it on interest rates costs economic growth and ultimately jobs so it is crucial to strike the right balance.

The Bank of England has hiked UK base rates from a record low of 0.1% in December 2021 to 5.25%.

Many experts understandably argue that the full dampening effects of this surge in borrowing costs have yet to feed through fully. Some households were able to build up cash reserves during the pandemic. And many people have been on fixed-rate mortgage deals on much more attractive terms than prevailing interest rates either throughout the radical monetary tightening phase or for a large part of it.

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It is much easier to understand the logic of Swati Dhingra, the lone voice on the MPC who favoured a cut in UK base rates at the committee’s March meeting, than that of those voting to hold benchmark borrowing costs, and certainly than that of those who had prior to March been voting for a further rise.

And former MPC member Danny Blanchflower has been highly convincing in his assessment of what should be happening with UK base rates.

Mr Blanchflower told an event in Glasgow last June that there was a very considerable probability on the basis of the Bank of England’s own forecasts out to 2026 that there would be deflation, and asked: “How can you raise rates with a forecast that says you should be cutting rates? They are out of their minds.”

At that stage, UK base rates were at 4.5%.

Mr Blanchflower highlighted the much greater sadness and pain caused by rises in unemployment, which could be triggered by policies which bore down on growth or sent the economy into recession, than by higher inflation.

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So, yes, it is important that the interest-rate decisions of the Bank of England’s MPC, whether it is Mr Bailey or someone else who is chairing the committee and whoever is sitting on it, are scrutinised.

However, that most certainly does not mean that the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater, in terms of a loss of the Bank of England’s independence in setting interest rates, if things should go awry.

The pantomime we have seen from the Tories on the economy surely puts the question of whether the Bank of England should have independence in setting interest rates beyond any doubt. The answer is a resounding “yes”.

Official data published on Wednesday showed annual UK consumer prices index inflation fell from 3.4% in February to 3.2% in March.

Nigel Green, chief executive of independent financial advisory and asset management organisation deVere Group, noted the latest inflation figure “is slightly higher than expected”.

However, it was easy to agree with the following declaration from Mr Green: “We hope that, despite the last stretch to hitting the Bank of England’s 2% target being harder and slower, overly cautious officials will not see this as yet another reason to further delay rate cuts.

“They must begin to bring down the historically high rate of 5.25% from June onwards. No ifs, no buts.”