Interest rate hike spells more economic pain for NI mortgage holders

The Bank of England (BoE) has raised interest rates to 1.75% from 1.25% – the highest level since January 2009.

A warning has also been issued by the BoE that the UK is set to plunge into the longest recession since the financial crisis.

The recession is set to begin in autumn, and last for more than a year, as millions of households grapple with the cost of living crisis.

The interest rate hike is an attempt to reduce record levels of inflation, but spells more economic pain for tens of thousands of mortgage holders in Northern Ireland.

Stephanie Kennedy says she is one of an increasing number of people who are the working poor.

Thursday's dramatic interest rate hike by the Bank of England to a 27 year high fills her with dread.

The mum-of-two from Dromore, near Omagh, is a classroom assistant for children with special needs.

But Stephanie is paid less now than when started her career 21 years ago. Her husband works for an a local engineering firm, yet paying the bills is increasingly difficult as prices soar.

They’ve been forced to borrow money form Stephanie's parents to make ends meet.

Now they face the prospect of higher mortgage repayment.

Stephanie told UTV: “They used to say you are three pay packets away from losing your home.

"There’s not three pay packets now as you are living from pay packet to pay packet.”

The Bank of England raised interest rates to 1.75% in a bid to curb inflation rates.

Governor Andrew Bailey predicts that the UK will enter a long recession before the year is out.

Inflation is also expected to rise to 13%, driven by higher energy and food production costs.

It already stands at 11%, a forty year high.

Stephanie says the working poor are hardest hit.

She’s a member of the trade union Unison - representing low wage workers in Northern Ireland.

“They are desperate, they have nowhere to turn. They are the working poor. They don’t get any benefits at all...they get nothing.”

Stephanie has called on local politicians to restore Government at Stormont.

She says people battling against the rising cost of living need help and support.

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