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Interest rates unchanged at 0.5 per cent

No-one is surprised.

The Bank of Engand's monetary policy committee (MPC) has voted to keep interest rates at 0.5 per cent for another month, with the Bank in the third year running with no change. It last moved on 5 March 2009, when rates were cut by 0.5 per cent down from 1 per cent.

Bank of England rates from 1694, Historical, UK from Timetric

The MPC also voted to continue with its quantitative easing program as planned, injecting a total of £325bn into the economy through the purchase of central bank assets.

None of this is remotely surprising. The economy is in a worse state than it was this time last year, and the Bank did nothing then either; if anything, given the level of inflation, the interest rate is slightly too high. The problem is that interest rates don't really work any lower than 0.5 per cent, and for obvious reasons can't go lower than zero. So the monetary policy the bank can bring to play is severely curtailed.

Expect the interest rates to stay low for some time to come.

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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We're hiring! Join the New Statesman as an editorial assistant

The NS is looking for a new recruit.

The New Statesman is hiring an editorial assistant, who will work across the website and magazine to help the office run smoothly. The ideal candidate will have excellent language skills, a passion for journalism, and the ability to work quickly and confidently under pressure.

The job is a broad one – you will need to understand the requirements of both halves of the magazine (politics and culture) as well as having an interest in the technical requirements of magazine and website production. Experience with podcasts and social media would be helpful.

The right person will have omnivorous reading habits and the ability to assimilate new topics at speed. You will be expected to help out with administration tasks around the office, so you must be willing to take direction and get involved with unglamorous tasks. There will be opportunities to write, but this will not form the main part of the job. (Our current editorial assistant is now moving on to a writing post.)

This is a full-time paid job, which would suit a recent graduate or someone who is looking for an entry into journalism. On the job training and help with career development will be offered.

Please apply with an email to Stephen Bush (Stephen. Bush @ with the subject line ‘Editorial Assistant application’.  

In your covering letter, please include a 300-word analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the New Statesman. Please also include 500 words on what you consider to be the most interesting trend in British politics, and your CV as a Word document. 

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 12th October.