A former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, who's also a Christian has said the Bank has been too slow in responding to the cost of living crisis.
Dr Andrew Sentance was speaking to Premier after the Consumer Price Index measure of Inflation rose to 10.1 per cent in July. It represented another 40-year high, with higher food prices for essentials like bread and milk driving the rise.
Dr Sentance, who was an external member of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee between 2006 and 2011, said interest rates should have been raised sooner to stem the increase in inflation.
"What we've now got is the sort of rate of inflation that we haven't seen since the late 70s and early 80s," he said. "And that's really quite a worry when the Bank of England is meant to keep inflation at around about 2 per cent.
"When I was a Saturday shop assistant at Boots the chemist in South London, they used to save all the price increases up for me and my whole day was taken changing all the prices. Now, we haven't quite got to that sort of level at the moment, but we were expecting inflation to hit 10 per cent or so in the autumn and that's already happened. The Bank of England have said that they expect inflation to go up to 13 per cent. But if things turn out worse than expected, it could go even higher."
Dr Sentance who is currently Senior Adviser to Cambridge Econometrics, said the Bank has been let down by its forecasts - last year's said inflation would peak at 4 percent and fall back :
"I think it's been a bit of a perfect storm where things have gone against them. But I think we've gone into a sense of complacency. Over the last decade or so even if there has been a blip in inflation, it's come down again quite quickly. And clearly what's now driving this inflation is much more significant and much more fundamental. And I don't think the Bank of England and many other central banks around the world were prepared for that. Really what the job of the central bank is to do is actually to head off the worst case scenario and they were not focusing on that worst case scenario.
"You might call it complacency, particularly through last year, when we could see this inflation building. Every time we got new inflation numbers, they were higher than expected. And yet, the Bank of England put it off until December to make even the smallest adjustment in interest rates.
"If they really wanted to send a signal to the economy, that they weren't going to tolerate this rise in inflation, they should have acted much earlier, perhaps in the first half of last year or in the middle of last year. But they're behind the curve and they've been quite slow in responding.
"The Bank of England hasn't done enough and they've acted too little too late."
As well as being an economist, Dr Sentence is also Director of Music in the Parish of Bengeo near Hertford.