HC Deb 11 November 1999 vol 337 cc766-7W
21. Mr. Heppell

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on his policy of independence of the Bank of England. [97010]

Mr. Andrew Smith

A wide range of people and international organisations, such as the IMF and OECD, have welcomed the Chancellor's decision to grant the Bank of England operational independence to set interest rates to meet the Government's inflation target. In a recent report the Treasury Committee said: The Chancellor's decision to transfer day to day control of monetary policy to a politically independent Bank of England has been vindicated so far in the transparency and technical quality of the process of decision making.

The public can be confident that low inflation will be delivered in practice. This is the most important contribution monetary policy can make to achieving the Government's objective of high and stable levels of growth and employment.

28. Mr. Plaskitt

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of his policy of granting operational independence over monetary policy to the Bank of England. [97017]

Miss Melanie Johnson

A Treasury paper "the New Monetary Policy Framework", published on 19 October, concluded that the Monetary Policy Committee's record so far in meeting the Government's inflation target was a good one. Inflation has stayed close to the Government's target and is expected to remain so; interest rates peaked at half the level recorded in the previous cycle; and despite global instability last year, the UK avoided a repeat of the boom and bust seen so often in the past. The success of the new framework has also been recognised by international bodies such as the IMF and OECD.