UK budget should not influence BoE-MPC's Nickell

The fact that the next policy meeting of Britain's central bank comes the day after the annual budget should not prevent its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) from altering interest rates, an MPC member has said.

The MPC meeting on March 8, 2001 follows the delivery of Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown's budget to parliament on March 7, leading many economists to speculate that it will leave rates unchanged for fear of political controversy.

But MPC member Stephen Nickell said in an interv