Iden­tity plan for vot­ers tri­alled

Yorkshire Post - - PLOITICS & ECONOMY -

THE BANK of Eng­land has sig­nalled that it is a step closer to rais­ing in­ter­est rates af­ter one of its most dovish pol­i­cy­mak­ers said he may back a hike “as early as in the com­ing months”.

Gert­jan Vlieghe, an ex­ter­nal vot­ing mem­ber of the Bank’s Mon­e­tary Pol­icy Com­mit­tee, said he has been “struck” by a se­ries of de­vel­op­ments in the UK econ­omy, in­clud­ing high in­fla­tion, em­ploy­ment growth, slight wage in­creases and stronger spend­ing growth in the third quar­ter.

He also pointed to the wider eco­nomic back­drop of “im­prov­ing global growth” over the past year, in­clud­ing across the eu­ro­zone.

“Un­til re­cently, I thought the ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse of mon­e­tary pol­icy was to be pa­tient, given mod­est growth and sub­dued un­der­ly­ing in­fla­tion­ary pres­sure. But the evo­lu­tion of the data is in­creas­ingly sug­gest­ing that we are ap­proach­ing the mo­ment when Bank rate may need to rise,” Mr Vlieghe said.

Vot­ers in five ar­eas of Eng­land are to be re­quired to show ID for the first time in an elec­tion next year, it has been an­nounced.

If suc­cess­ful, the trial could be ex­tended across the coun­try as part of a drive to counter vot­ing fraud.

The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion watch­dog rec­om­mended in 2014 that vot­ers should be re­quired to prove their iden­ti­ties be­fore cast­ing a bal­lot.

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