Whittaker: Pre-election rate rise will give Tories edge

Despite the impact of a rate rise on household finances, he argued that raising interest rates before the general election could actually help the Tory party.

Whittaker said: “Raising rates before the general election will make them appear responsible.

“We expect the Bank of England to raise the base-rate early next year – and certainly before the next general election.”

The only possible spanner in the works for Whittaker is Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, who has previously demonstrated a reluctance to raise rates.

Whittaker said: “When he was in Canada he missed the inflation wagon when it was heading to him on an express train, and there’s a slight fear that he might be misunderstanding the inflation danger.”

He said the recovery has been faster than analytical data suggests, with engineering and manufacturing improving significantly.

Reiterating his warning that borrowers should stick to longer-term fixed rate mortgage products, Whittaker explained: “A few mortgage products are already starting to become a little pricier, and in the next 12 months that trend will accelerate.

“We’re already advising landlords to find a 5-year fixed rate deal – and for many homeowners too, it may be wise to switch to a fixed rate deal sooner rather than later.”