Little mentioned over the last decade, since the beginnings of the financial crisis in 2007, has been the plight of savers.
Interest rates have been slashed to derisory levels in savings accounts.
This was done to save western economies from collapse. Out of solidarity for this plight, great forbearance has been shown by thrifty, often elderly people who have spent a lifetime working, saving and fending for themselves, rather than relying on state handouts.
But the seemingly never ending period of almost useless interest returns is now a scandal. For several years it was just about possible to finds banks that paid 3% interest. In recent years savers are doing well to get a 1% return.
And they are subject to all sorts of trickery. Only the most diligent people check their savings regularly to ensure that an interest rate has not been slashed to 0.3% or so. We were told the authorities would make this more difficult, but even if they have done it is an ongoing problem.
Savers accepted low rates for the good of society. But their cash held in banks has for many years been failing to keep pace even with the rise in the cost of living. Note that the slashing of interest rates has bailed out irresponsible businesses and individuals who borrowed too much. It has also sent asset prices soaring, that makes it harder for people who are cautious about debt to buy a house. This week’s rate rise might have marked a slow turning of the tide, but our hardworking savers are still suffering.