The Guardian view on malign neglect of the poor in changing economic times | Editorial

Even as laissez-faire falls out of fashion in finance, overall inequality is indulged

"Not just a light touch, but a limited touch." That was the New Labour catchphrase on regulation at one time a time when the Tory opposition demanded that Whitehall’s grubby paws be pulled even further away from finance.

What a difference a crisis makes. The Bank of England on Thursday marched into terrain that its governor, Mark Carney, might once have dismissed as 1970s micro-management at best, or Gosplan at worst. It put a cap on mortgages exceeding 450% of borrowers’ income, and imposed new checks on borrowers’ ability to cope with an interest rate rise. Neither stricture has much immediate bite, but the Bank stands ready to get more draconian if house prices keep soaring.

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