HOMEOWNERS are set for more misery as the Bank of England is poised to raise interest rates yet again, as the Government faces pressure to intervene in the deepening mortgage crisis.

The Bank is expected to hike rates to 4.75% from 4.5% at midday, but some experts predict policymakers may even vote for a bigger rise to 5% after Wednesday’s shock inflation figures showed the headline rate of inflation remained unchanged at 8.7% in May against hopes for a sharp fall.

While the Government and Bank of England are under rising pressure over their failure to rein in price rises, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insists he remains committed to halving inflation by the end of the year.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has also said the Government will “stick to its guns” and pleaded for patience for the Bank’s rate rises to curb inflation.

But as inflation remains stubbornly high, there are fears this may be increasingly out of reach and the finger of blame is pointing at the Government and Bank for failing to get the cost of living crisis under control.

Sunak, due to speak after the rates announcement on Thursday at an economy-focused PM Connect event in the south-east of England, will tell business figures that halving inflation is his administration’s “number one priority” and that he wants to “get back” to the target of inflation being at 2%, less than a quarter of what it stood at last month.

In pre-briefed comments, Sunak is expected to say: “I feel a deep moral responsibility to make sure the money you earn holds its value.

“That’s why our number one priority is to halve inflation this year and get back to the target of 2%.”

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The Bank is tasked with keeping inflation as close to 2% as it can, and the best tool it has to do that when inflation is high is by raising the base interest rate.

But a further rise is likely to pile more pressure on mortgage-holders as rates are already at close to 15-year highs.

Hunt has so far dismissed suggestions that ministers could intervene to assist homeowners with rising mortgage rates, though he is set to meet with lenders on Friday as pleas grow for more to be done.

He said he has spoken to consumer champion Martin Lewis, who on Tuesday said that a mortgage ticking time bomb is now “exploding” and that his previous warnings failed to be heeded.

It comes as the average two-year fixed residential mortgage rate has surpassed 6%, according to data from Moneyfactscompare.co.uk.

Moreover, expectations of where rates will peak have surged in recent weeks, with markets now anticipating a high of 6% by early next year and warnings that 1.4 million mortgage holders will lose at least a fifth of their disposable income in additional repayments.

Ministers appeared unable to give assurances to worried mortgage holders, with Transport Secretary Mark Harper saying there would be “no quick fix” to the current economic situation.

Harper said the Government continued to have confidence in Bank governor Andrew Bailey, though there were reports that Hunt’s economic advisers have rounded on the Bank for failing to curb inflation.

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James Cleverly, during an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, struggled to set out what short-term measures the Prime Minister was taking to halve inflation.

Asked repeatedly for specific actions being taken by the Government, he said: “One of the main vehicles for short-term addressing inflation is interest rates.”

Financial markets are now pencilling in a 40% chance that interest rates could go up by 0.5 percentage points to 5% in the June meeting, with expectations for another rise in August.

Sandra Horsfield, an economist for Investec Economics, said: “Settling on the larger of the two (rate rises) risks adding fuel to the fire for rate expectations, a message the MPC will think long and hard about given the impact this would have for what is now termed the ‘mortgage time bomb’ for households and landlords that refinance borrowing.”